Putting on the Red Shoes at Virgin Atlantic

To celebrate launching UK domestic routes between London Heathrow and Manchester, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, Virgin Atlantic is running a heart-smacking, fanciful, soulful all-in-one video advertisement labeled ‘Flying in the Face of Ordinary’.

‘They were born different.’ So begins Virgin Atlantic’s latest multimillion-dollar campaign in the UK. The two-minute spot conjures fantasy childhoods of  ‘extraordinary’ employees. They are all like Russian-wonder dolls with wonder inside wonder and stylishly smacking red lipstick lips.

The make-believe ad posits Virgin Atlantic as ‘a splash of red in a world of gray.’ The sizzle did not go unnoticed by FT members.  In response, Steve Oh posts: “No doubt about it, Virgin is definitely the sexiest airline!! Counting down the days [until] my next flight, and my first flight in Upper.” (Yellow smiley face attached.)

Virgin Atlantic wants to stimulate us, they say. It was ‘destiny’ that brought them together – the airline and the employees – and now us passengers, I presume. The pilot in the ad was obsessed with flight as a kid riding his tricycle. It makes you want to dress up and fly with them. That FA is not just a pretty face. ‘I’m intuition, too.’ We are told. ‘I’m born to evolve thinking and change the lives of millions.’

It’s all so magical and glamorous. Nowhere are there rows of stuffed seats or trays or shrink-wrapped food to clutter that sexy putting-on-the-red-shoe scene, which is really, really meant to stimulate us.

Virgin Atlantic is even hiring. Looking for more employees who were born different. The kind of people that keep Virgin Atlantic ‘flying to save us from the bland, from the beige.’

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