Virgin Atlantic: 25 years on and still behind
Abby OReilly // 20 January 2009
On 20th June 1984 Richard Branson launched Virgin Atlantic, marketed as a cheaper and more efficient alternative to British Airways. To celebrate their 25th year, Virgin has a nostalgic new advertising campaign. If you’ve not yet had the pleasure, you can watch below:
Maybe this was acceptable in the 80s? It may have been acceptable at the time..etc..but, Branson, not now, oh no. I don’t think this ad is particularly complimentary to men or women. You have the beautiful (female only) air stewardesses gliding through the airport surrounding the (of course, male) pilot, as desperate men salivate over these young beauties (one man wanting to change his ticket) and older women look on with envy. If this campaign was designed to spark longing for the “good ole days” it has failed badly, since all it has done is demonstrate the extent to which gender roles were unbearably oppressive just a quarter of a century ago.
Maybe without the visual this ad could be palatable, since the best thing about it is the soundtrack. Frankie Goes to Hollywood has to be up there with the all time greats, surely?