Virgin Australia goes 'Up, Up and Toupee' in brand campaign via DDB Sydney

11 November 2019

Advertiser: Virgin Australia
Creative Agency: DDB Sydney

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The major brand campaign introduces us to a new and unconventional character Wiggy.

Virgin Australia is putting the joy back into flying with a charming brand campaign that centres on a very unlikely character.

The campaign, by DDB Sydney, delivers the feeling of flying with Virgin Australia launched with the film: ‘Up, Up and Toupee’.

Virgin Australia undertook extensive research on drivers for airline travel within Australia, which informed the development of the campaign.

This research revealed the airline needed to re-emphasise the famous Virgin personality and the overall customer experience.

As a result, DDB and Virgin Australia worked together to determine how best to communicate this customer experience and Virgin personality through the new brand positioning.

The new brand positioning, ‘Feel good flying’, is designed to create an emotional connection with Australians and cut through a cluttered market.

Virgin Australia general manager, brand and marketing Michael Nearhos says it is a natural fit for the Virgin brand to reach people on an emotional level.

“We know our Virgin personality is so widely loved, and we are so proud to hero this through our new brand campaign," Nearhos says.

"Our focus from a customer experience perspective is always on how our famous service and product make people feel, and it’s really important to us to emphasise this in our new brand positioning.”

Set to Jo Cocker and Jennifer Warnes’ iconic tune ‘Up Where We Belong’, the ad follows Wiggy, the unconventional lead character, as he rediscovers how amazing flying is, and the joy of seeing the big, wide world on his way to the family’s holiday destination.

Brought to life by Revolver/Will O’Rourke’s Gary Freedman and Moving Picture Company, it’s a journey of ease and effortlessness, and most importantly, fun.

“In a complicated world, it’s been an absolute pleasure to create something that’s so unique, simple and joyful," DDB Sydney chief creative officer Tara Ford says.

"Fun but with an edge of cheekiness and irreverence – which is perfect for recapturing and igniting the Virgin Australia brand.”

The integrated TV campaign will be supported by digital, print, out of home, and cinema.


Virgin Australia:
Danielle Keighery – Chief Experience Officer
Michael Nearhos – General Manager Brand & Marketing
Rapthi Thanapalasingam - Head of Consumer & Partner Marketing
Erina Chapman – Brand & Retail Marketing Leader
Alex Davey – Brand Marketing Specialist

Ben Welsh – Chief Creative Officer, DDB Australia
Tara Ford – Chief Creative Officer, DDB Sydney
David Jackson – Creative Partner
Jeremy Hogg – Creative Lead
Richard Shaw – Creative Lead
Kate Sheppard – Managing Partner
Claire Hynes – Senior Business Director
Ciara Moloney – Business Manager
Tash Johnson - Lead Senior Producer
Leif Stromnes - Managing Director, Strategy & Innovation
Caroline Ghatt – Planning Partner
Joseph Smeaton – Planning Director
James Davis – Senior Planner
Casey Machen - Project Director
Kelly Barnaby – Project Manager
Cushla Morton – Senior Print Producer

Production Company – Revolver / Will O’Rourke
Director: Gary Freedman
Managing Director: Michael Ritchie
Executive Producer: Pip Smart
Producer: Alex Kember
Edit Facility: Arc
Editor: Peter Sciberras
Post Production: Moving Picture Company, UK
VFX Post Producer: Philip Whalley
Sound: Song Zu
Sound Engineer: Abigail Sie / Simon Kain
Music Supervision: Level Two Music
Music Supervisor: Karl Richter
Casting: Peta Einberg / Ben Parkinson Casting

Production Company – Photoplay
Photographer – Michael Corridore
Executive Producer – Alison Lydiard

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