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Virgin Australia’s New TV Commercial: Now You’re Flying

Compared to the last couple of television advertisements we’ve seem from Virgin Australia – and particularly their last commercial featuring vocalist Megan Washington bashing out Gershwin’s S’Wonderful – one can’t help but feel that their latest (almost aircraft-free) offering falls just a little short in delivering any substantial message.

This commercial represents the third big budget advertising shift since the rebrand of 2011.

The gender-biased introduction (in the extended version of the commercial) features two flight attendants wandering aimlessly around a neutral city, seemingly on their journey to work. It culminates, however, in what should have always been the non-sexist focus – a sea of virgin staff. For an advert that claims to turn the focus towards the crew, it’s only about 6 seconds of the commercial that supports that assertion. Until this point, the commercial lacks narrative and direction.

We’re told that many Virgin Australia crew were voluntarily rostered for the filming at Eastern Creek Raceway (in Western Sydney) before last-minute scheduling demands required many of them back on duty. A number of extras were called to fill the empty spots. There’s certainly more than a significant real-life Virgin presence.

A portion of media have already lashed out at Virgin for using professional model Alexandra Agoston as a featured part of the production… suggesting that it “undermines” their corporate message. Given the elegant and classy nature of the production, it’s understandable that the company would enlist somebody with the refined body language and poise to effectively share the story Virgin are trying to tell.

The initial campaign (running on Seven, Nine and Foxtel) is supported by print, digital, outdoor and social channels (including its Velocity members). It runs until the end of October with a modified version of the campaign to follow.

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Those few that have criticised the use of “Come Fly With Me” as a backing because of an historic connection (or similarity) to an old Ansett commercial need to remember the huge number of former Ansett employees in the Virgin ranks. If anything, use of the song is a fitting tribute to the early and formative Ansett crew that helped build the carrier.

The campaign is managed by ClemengerBBDO , Sydney. Music is Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me”.

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