Virgin Australia thinks it’s Hugh Jackman, or Leonardo di Caprio

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 31 July 2014

Brands often go through the process of personifying the brand to get a clearer picture of what it stands for and decide what celebrity, car or dog they would be. Virgin Australia believes its celebrity personality would be Leonardo Di Caprio globally, but locally, it thinks it cuts more of a Hugh Jackman figure.

The airline is three years into its brand transformation from Virgin Blue, and while the reference got some laughs at the ADMA Forum, the airline’s top marketer Michael Scott explained that the personality of the brand is an important principle as the shift in culture at the airline is a driving force behind its transformation.

It prides itself on being stylish, having sophisticated charm but retaining its “cheeky irreverence” and makes the link to Jackman.

Speaking at the event in Sydney this week, Scott, said that the marketing and brand team will often reference Jackman when making decisions around creative aesthetic and tone.

“We’ve grown up so we’ve had to assert ourselves as a mature brand so sophisticated charm is really important. When we ran through this process, you do the typical thing and pick a celebrity or car or dog that the brand would be. Where we arrived was Leonardo di Caprio on a global level. Not the Wolf of Wall Street – more the Great Gatsby. On a local level, Hugh Jackman is probably the best personification of sophisticated charm. He’s charming, personable, he’s got integrity and talks to any level of society, he’s suave and charismatic,” Scott said.

Virgin aims to be stylish, engaging and effortless in everything that it does from booking to when customers arrive in their destination and get off the plane.

“It guides every part of the business, and if every part of the journey isn’t stylish, engaging and effortless – we look at it again. We’re not there yet but we’re constantly striving for it,” he said.

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