Sold? Virgin Do Sexy..



This advert may have been on our screens for some time but its effect is just not waning. No matter how hard I try to dislike its sleek, aspirational, subliminal messages I fall deeper and deeper in love with Virgin.

The ad opens with a marching army of trademark cherry red suits and shoes, belonging to some of the foxiest cabin crew ever known to man. It would be fairly easy to feel outraged at the explicit use of these women in such an overtly sexual and degrading manner. Branson seems to love the idea that “his girlsâ€? are lusted after by men the world over. But, somehow, it’s all just too glamorous to get worked up. Not to mention the fact that the girls look way too cool to give a crap which old men are fawning over them.

The men in question are found sliding down the crews’ luggage and cowering under their red stilettos by the way.

In kicks emo-rockers, Muse with their cover of “Feeling Good”. I don’t even usually like these angsty teenage moaners but the extravagant imagery needs an extravagant musical bed buddy, no doubt about it.

The CGI backdrops are reminiscent of an extravagant 90s sci-fi fantasy adventure where an ill conceived is supposedly redeemed by a plot full of glamorous babes, suave men and pretty colours. Branson must have been a fan. It just keeps getting cooler.

Then comes the pilot, striding purposefully down the runway and adorned by two fine hunks of man who appear to be premiership footballers. Again – outrageous, sexist, stereotypical. Where are the female pilots? Why are there only girls screaming after the pilot? Whatever happened to the equal opportunities?…but look how cool they are.

Then comes first degree assault by aspirational imagery. Martinis – check. Expensive food – check. Well dressed associates – check. Exclusive destinations – check. Bespoke service – check.

It is everything Bond would expect from an airline company. The silhouetted figures of dancing naked women twizzle and twirl complete the homage to 007 but it is a clever move by Virgin. Quintessentially British Bond makes the perfect international ambassador for the quintessentially British brand…and they get away with not paying any Royalities.

It would be easy to emerge from this ad and believe that you should never be served by anyone other than a busty blonde or a Clooney doppelganger. But this simplistic approach to what it is to experience luxury makes its narrow-minded, politically incorrect, sexed-up advertising technique a winner!

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