Virgin America has created possibly the most infuriating ad ever. So if you do watch it, be prepared to get very, very angry.
The 5-hour, 45-minute pre-roll ad is part of Virgin America’s new marketing campaign that takes shots at other airlines, labelling its imaginary competitor airline in the single most boring way possible: BLAH Airlines. (Yes, you read correctly: 5 hours 45 minutes of pre-roll, meaning the ad will appear in front of videos you actually want to see unless you choose to skip it.)
Virgin America takes you inside BLAH Airlines flight 101 to San Francisco, where all the things you hate most about flying are rolled up into the six-hour-long package: babies cry non-stop, children bounce around in their seats, someone hums way too loudly, your plane is seventh in line to take off, someone watching a show keeps laughing out loud, the person next to you steals your armrest …
You name it, Virgin America captures it.
The ad, titled “Have you been flying BLAH airlines?,” uses creepy mannequin people to illustrate what it can be like to fly on a competing airline with no personality and no excitement, especially on longer, cross-country flights.
“We wanted to recreate the feeling of what it’s like to fly on autopilot and then remind people there’s a better way to fly,” Bryan Houlette, the creative director behind the campaign, tells Adweek. “So we created a film that shows what’s it like when you’re on a ‘blah’ flight, from takeoff to landing.”
It’s an interesting, possibly risky, strategy, creating a six-hour ad designed to remind people that Virgin America is a good choice for flying.
Users can skip the ad after a few seconds if they aren’t interested. Best of luck to you if you can get through the entire thing. If you can, Bryan Houlette wants to meet you. Just don’t persuade him to make another one.
Here’s the entire, five hour and 45 minute spot:
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