Tag Archives: Virgin Atlantic

April Fools: a dish best served with PR

1 Apr

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Pinch, punch first of the month and no returns white rabbit. Gotcha!

Now that’s over with it’s time to remember another special day in the PR calendar: April Fools.

So, let’s get straight to it. Here’s a nod to some top brave brands that have mixed the right ingredients (a pinch of believability, an ounce of doubt and a sprinkle of brashness all blended and baked for 20min on ‘creativity’) to make some clever, and suspect, PR-driven April Fools’ Day stories.

1. Virgin’s glass-bottomed jet
Branson announced today that his empire – Virgin – has developed the technology to introduce the world’s first glass-bottomed plane (pictured above.) One word. Genius.

2. SPAM launches Easter egg
This year the obvious news hook for April Fools is Easter, but this campaign just reeks of chopped up ham. Apparently SPAM has extended its range with an Easter egg including mini ham treats covered in chocolate – an unusual and delightful pairing (pictured below.) Available in supermarkets today, that’s the giveaway.

3. Mumsnet launches vajazzling course
Online parenting community Mumsnet has launched a vajazzling course for members including a keynote talk from former TOWIE star Amy Childs. Why? Because, as any new mum knows, appearance is the first luxury to be sacrificed when caring for a baby. In my mind the Mumsnet members are vicious roller derby players with babes in arms. They’re definitely not to be messed with. Vajazzle, really?

4. Twitter tax
Twitter has announced that it’ll begin charging tweeters for using vowels – although foreign language options will remain unaffected. For $5 a month, users can update to its premium service where all letters are available. A good try because it does make you look twice.

5. Cats crackdown on yobs in Croydon
There’s times when I have to represent Croydon and this is it. A faux feline story reports that cats are being trained and given top technology to patrol antisocial areas before reporting back to the authorities and the cats’ HQ: the Mobile Evening Observation Wing (or Meow for short.)

Spotted any more? Drop me a line and I’ll add it to the hall of fame.

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Virgin’s new competition is out of this world

4 Sep

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Just days after the world said goodbye to modest hero Neil Armstrong, Virgin Atlantic has announced its latest ‘out of this world’ competition campaign which will see one frequent flyer a win a trip to space.

Mission Galatic‘ will reward the user with the most ‘elevate’ points with a trip on Virgin’s sub-orbital space flight. Points can be collected each time a customer books a trip on all three Virgin airlines: America, Atlantic and Australia between now and next August.

This is a great PR campaign that will generate lots of attention around the world, because it allows everyone to get involved in a piece of history. With live video coverage to be captured from the ‘space craft’ and post-event interviews and case studies of the winner, Virgin is feeding journalists with a real story. What’s more, the winner will benefit from a lot of PR exposure by association too. Win-win.

But, a small step for Virgin is a giant leap for me. This could be the first competition I’ve come across that I wouldn’t want to win. Frightening is not the word. After all, who hasn’t seen Apollo 13?

Can a holiday which doesn’t give you the opportunity to purchase a postcard really be considered a holiday? Ok, the prize has a cash value of £128,000 but it’s clearly not me Virgin is targeting; it’s business class members that travel all over the world, and often. And, I’m sure anywhere with ample leg room is enough to get them to register.

Would you want to travel in Virgin’s space craft?

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