Virgin Elevates Flyer Experience with Street View

The airline has launched an interactive brand campaign encouraging travellers to test drive their flight on the ground before take-off

Virgin America has just launched an interactive brand campaign, the purpose of which is to encourage travellers to test drive their flight before take-off. The push was rolled out to include a Google Maps’ Street View component.

The first major commercial American airline to do so, its passengers are being treated to a 360-degree tour on board the aircraft which will fly them from any of the 22 destinations the carrier presently serves. The unique Seat View initiative features the integration of actual Google Street View tours of the airline’s Airbus A320 cabin.

Set to be translated to immersive outdoor and digital experiences, the exercise also entails traditional out-of-home content as well as online display support. The outdoor elements will live in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, and Washington D.C. while digital support spans across each of the brand’s markets.

The tours can also be accessed online via the aviation giant’s website or by heading to Google Maps and searching for Virgin America and the departing airport.  Once in, visitors will spot the red pin and a Google Street View. To take a virtual trip of the aircraft operating from the designated airport, users will need to click ‘See Inside’.

Developed by its creative agency, Eleven, the integrated campaign will incorporate a mix of billboard ads, digital banners, and interactive bus shelters, so as to enable users to interact with the Google Street View experience on a large-panel touchscreen.

“Thanks to our friends at Google, travellers can now check us out in an entirely new way. Many airlines show products in their ad campaigns that may in reality only be available on a small portion of their fleet,” said Abby Lunardini, Vice President of Brand and Communications at Virgin America.

“For travellers who may be new to Virgin America, the Google Street View experience brings our product difference to life in an authentic way.  There is no bait and switch.  Flyers can tour the actual product they’ll fly on when they book us from any of our cities—just like they experience the rest of their world via Google Maps.”

Most recently, Virgin America and Eleven collaborated to launch its 2014 Radical Departure campaign, which featured a 5-hour and 45-minute film promoting Blah Airlines – a generic new carrier meant to represent the mundane flight experience offered by the mainstays of the airline category.

The video has garnered more than one million views on YouTube and was featured as an official selection at the Dallas International Film Festival in spring of 2015. The execution also won three One Show Pencils and was shortlisted at the Cannes across four categories.

The tour highlights the Main Cabin’s custom-designed black leather seating with better pitch, in-seat power outlets, and Red entertainment platform that offers guests their own 9-inch touchscreen featuring more than 25 films, live TV, a 3000-song library, and an on-demand menu allowing flyers to order cocktails and snacks whenever.

The push also promotes Virgin’s Main Cabin Select, where guests can enjoy 38 inches of seat pitch; complimentary food, cocktails, and premium entertainment with an all-access pass; dedicated space in the overhead bins; as well as priority check-in and boarding.

Street View also showcases the carrier’s First Class Cabin featuring eight plush white leather seats, each with up to 55 inches of seat pitch, which is seven inches more than the industry average.  In fact, when in-flight, the seats recline up to 165 degrees while fitted with lumbar massagers.