Cannes Lions

VIRGIN AMERICA REMIXES THE SAFETY VIDEO

VIRGIN AMERICA, Burlingame, Ca / VIRGIN / 2014

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

Virgin America, the airline that first put an irreverent twist on the safety video in the U.S., took its pre-flight safety education to new heights with the first-ever safety video set entirely to music and dance. In order to create something flyers would find entertaining and informative, the airline enlisted Virgin Produced to conceptualize the safety video and tapped famed Hollywood director and Virgin America frequent flyer Jon M. Chu to execute the vision.

Virgin America’s Marketing Communications team developed an integrated PR campaign that touched on every platform possible, orchestrating a larger-than-life debut in New York’s Time Square, an in-studio performance on The Ellen Degeneres Show, an embargoed story in USA Today, and generating national and local television coverage in Virgin America’s markets.

On Twitter, Virgin America harnessed the influential following of the safety video’s cast and crew to expand the video’s reach and also launched a social media promotion and #VXsafetydance microsite that invited people to submit Instagram videos of their best freestyle #VXsafetydance moves for a chance to appear in future versions of the video.

Less than 24 hours after its debut, the video went viral with over 1.5 million YouTube hits and more than 9 million views today. Hundreds of online stories in outlets like The Today Show, CNN, E! News, The New Yorker, Fast Company and Forbes discussed the video, totaling over 727 million media impressions and more than 7,000 tweets used #VXsafetydance – resulting in a total exposure of nearly 75 million.

Execution

On October 29th, 2013, USA Today hit stands nationwide with an in-depth feature story on Virgin America’s remixed safety video with multiple color photograph screenshots from the video at the same time the airline launched its #VXsafetydance microsite that included a media kit, photos, and behind-the-scenes footage.

The safety video also made a larger-than-life debut in New York’s Times Square, where it played all day all along 42nd Street. Simultaneously, the dancers from the video took center stage on the Ellen DeGeneres Show for a live performance for the show’s 1.5 million viewers and online audience of over 40 million.

On Twitter, Virgin America successfully harnessed the influential following of the safety video’s popular cast and director Jon M. Chu to help expand the video’s reach. Virgin America also hosted a first-of-its-kind social media promotion that invited people to submit Instagram videos of their best freestyle #VXsafetydance moves.

Outcome

The safety video’s PR campaign achieved its intended goals and far surpassed all expectations. Less than 24 hours after being posted online, the video went viral with over 1.5 million YouTube hits and over 9 million views since. Several national broadcasts, including Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, and CNN ran pieces on the video and top-tier publications like The New Yorker, Forbes, Variety, Fast Company and Variety profiled the video with critical acclaim.

Overall, Virgin America’s safety video was featured in hundreds of print, online TV outlets across the country, earning over 727 million media impressions and generating over $18.7 million in ad equivalency value.

On average, viewers spent more than 5.8 minutes on the safety video’s microsite on VirginAmerica.com, raising brand awareness with every single click. Additionally, an accompanying “Buckle Up to Get Down” fare sale promotion generated over $250,000 in promotional revenue.

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