Author Topic: Virgin Atlantic ad  (Read 7841 times)

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Virgin Atlantic ad
« on: January 15, 2009, 11:24:58 am »
If you're of a certain age, you'll love this...
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/oL1uud6Fy6M&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/oL1uud6Fy6M&rel=1</a>

Stopped me dead in my tracks when I saw it. Brilliant.

I was also very excited to hear that they've reissued the first Now That's What I Call Music, which is also celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

d.

border-rider

Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2009, 11:33:34 am »
Yes, I saw that on TV  the other night and I was dead impressed :)

red marley

Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2009, 11:47:10 am »
It's funny you should post this, because I was thinking of starting a topic on the same advert.

Humourless political rant warning:

I'm afraid it annoyed the pants off me. I think for two reasons:

1. Clearly it's jam-packed with deliberately cliched early-mid 1980's references, but to use the Miners' strike in this way, as if it is equivalent to stripey shirts, Big Country and bricklike carfones is to trivialise what was a hugely difficult time for those affected by the pit closures. And to have that done on behalf of uber-capitalist Branson just gets my goat.

2. Hiding behind the wall of "postmodern irony", the overt sexism of the ad (alpha male pilot with is harem of scarlet lovelies) is just lazy and duplicitous. However "knowing" the ad may be, they really are just using glamourous women's bodies to sell something which is nothing to do with womens' bodies. The depressing irony of this is that in 1984 there probably would have been a much more vocal opposition to this kind of sexist nonsense.

No doubt, I'll be accused of humourlessness, of missing the joke, or that adverts have always done this sort of thing, but that doesn't stop it from annoying me.

Come fly me.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2009, 12:17:39 pm »
No doubt, I'll be accused of humourlessness, of missing the joke, or that adverts have always done this sort of thing, but that doesn't stop it from annoying me.

No, you're absolutely correct about the glib miners' strike reference. The current economic crisis probably only makes it worse.

I think all the cultural references are pretty authentic, though, which is what I like about it - it's actually not just a load of 80s cliches thrown together by some advertising muppet. And I think perhaps you're over-reacting slightly to the overt sexism - I think it's meant to be a pastiche of a similar scene in the film Catch Me If You Can, which is in itself a deliberately stereotypical, highly stylised scene.

Most of all, though, I think it just looks good.

Points taken, though.

d.

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2009, 12:22:45 pm »


I was also very excited to hear that they've reissued the first Now That's What I Call Music, which is also celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

d.


Radcliffe & Maconie on R2 last night were talking to the bloke who compiled all the NTWICM albums. Can't remember his name.  My friend Lisa had Now 1 & 2, I had 3 & 4. On double cassette.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


border-rider

Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2009, 12:29:41 pm »
I think it's meant to be a pastiche of a similar scene in the film Catch Me If You Can, which is in itself a deliberately stereotypical, highly stylised scene.

See also Robert Palmer


Quote
Most of all, though, I think it just looks good.

Yep

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2009, 12:32:16 pm »
Radcliffe & Maconie on R2 last night were talking to the bloke who compiled all the NTWICM albums.

I heard that. Great stuff. Really enjoyed hearing Temptation again for the first time in a long time. They also played ABC's The Look Of Love recently, which inspired me to dig out The Lexicon Of Love - I'd forgotten what a superb album that was.

Now 3 was the first one I bought - and played over and over until it fell to bits!

d.

PS "Beef Encounter" was mine, by the way. I also suggested "Shallow Gravy" but I didn't catch if they mentioned it.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2009, 12:34:38 pm »
See also Robert Palmer

Apparently, he told the director of the video for Addicted To Love that he wanted it to be "a miasma of minge".

d.

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2009, 12:44:41 pm »
It's funny you should post this, because I was thinking of starting a topic on the same advert.

Humourless political rant warning:

I'm afraid it annoyed the pants off me. I think for two reasons:

1. Clearly it's jam-packed with deliberately cliched early-mid 1980's references, but to use the Miners' strike in this way, as if it is equivalent to stripey shirts, Big Country and bricklike carfones is to trivialise what was a hugely difficult time for those affected by the pit closures. And to have that done on behalf of uber-capitalist Branson just gets my goat.

2. Hiding behind the wall of "postmodern irony", the overt sexism of the ad (alpha male pilot with is harem of scarlet lovelies) is just lazy and duplicitous. However "knowing" the ad may be, they really are just using glamourous women's bodies to sell something which is nothing to do with womens' bodies. The depressing irony of this is that in 1984 there probably would have been a much more vocal opposition to this kind of sexist nonsense.

No doubt, I'll be accused of humourlessness, of missing the joke, or that adverts have always done this sort of thing, but that doesn't stop it from annoying me.

Come fly me.

Firstly, I must state my interest: I am employed by Virgin Atlantic.

I'm a bit in two minds about the ad - I love its attitude, the '80s retro authenticity and I have to say I wish the girls' uniforms reflected reality at any time in the last 25 years! They don't, sadly - they're  the ad agency's own design, incorporating elements of all of the variations of uniforms over the last 25 years - and some that most certainly never featured. I'm sure they were well aware that the uniforms and the 'pilot and his harem' style would cause a bit of sexism controversy, but controversy prompts discussion and that keeps the ad, and the airline's name, in people's minds. I'm not totally comfortable with it, but, at a ratio of about 95% in favour, our girls seem to think it reflects the airline and them pretty well.

The miners' strike headline is simply setting the time context by using what was probably the most memorable event of 1984 - the year tha Virgin Atlantic started flying. It makes no comment about the strike or those involved, so I cannot understand why anyone would be offended by it. Or are people not allowed to mention the strike any more unless it's in earnest, serious debate?

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2009, 12:49:04 pm »
It's funny you should post this, because I was thinking of starting a topic on the same advert.

Humourless political rant warning:

I'm afraid it annoyed the pants off me. I think for two reasons:

1. Clearly it's jam-packed with deliberately cliched early-mid 1980's references, but to use the Miners' strike in this way, as if it is equivalent to stripey shirts, Big Country and bricklike carfones is to trivialise what was a hugely difficult time for those affected by the pit closures. And to have that done on behalf of uber-capitalist Branson just gets my goat.

2. Hiding behind the wall of "postmodern irony", the overt sexism of the ad (alpha male pilot with is harem of scarlet lovelies) is just lazy and duplicitous. However "knowing" the ad may be, they really are just using glamourous women's bodies to sell something which is nothing to do with womens' bodies. The depressing irony of this is that in 1984 there probably would have been a much more vocal opposition to this kind of sexist nonsense.

No doubt, I'll be accused of humourlessness, of missing the joke, or that adverts have always done this sort of thing, but that doesn't stop it from annoying me.

Come fly me.

Firstly, I must state my interest: I am employed by Virgin Atlantic.

I'm a bit in two minds about the ad - I love its attitude, the '80s retro authenticity and I have to say I wish the girls' uniforms reflected reality at any time in the last 25 years! They don't, sadly - they're  the ad agency's own design, incorporating elements of all of the variations of uniforms over the last 25 years - and some that most certainly never featured. I'm sure they were well aware that the uniforms and the 'pilot and his harem' style would cause a bit of sexism controversy, but controversy prompts discussion and that keeps the ad, and the airline's name, in people's minds. I'm not totally comfortable with it, but, at a ratio of about 95% in favour, our girls seem to think it reflects the airline and them pretty well.

The miners' strike headline is simply setting the time context by using what was probably the most memorable event of 1984 - the year tha Virgin Atlantic started flying. It makes no comment about the strike or those involved, so I cannot understand why anyone would be offended by it. Or are people not allowed to mention the strike any more unless it's in earnest, serious debate?

I think you've hit the nail on the head there Tim.  For some, the Miners' Strike seems to be almost a religious happening, and any reference to it without an accompanying acknowledgment of how terrible Thatcher was or how 'brave' the miners were is blasphemous.

Personally, I thought the Virgin ad was funny.
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

border-rider

Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2009, 01:09:15 pm »


I think you've hit the nail on the head there Tim.  For some, the Miners' Strike seems to be almost a religious happening, and any reference to it without an accompanying acknowledgment of how terrible Thatcher was or how 'brave' the miners were is blasphemous.


really ?

My feeling is that there was fair bit of apolitical cultural reference to the Miners' Strike as a bookmark of its time.  Most of it late 80s, of course, so it's a bit dated now.

eg

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/qn_SRT5scK0&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/qn_SRT5scK0&rel=1</a>


But you do have to be a bit careful sometimes.  <avoids joke about picking scabs ;) >

edit: I just realised  that that Youtube clip is of a weird remix that samples the Smiths  ???

Eccentrica Gallumbits

  • Rock 'n' roll and brew, rock 'n' roll and brew...
Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2009, 01:12:52 pm »


I heard that. Great stuff. Really enjoyed hearing Temptation again for the first time in a long time. They also played ABC's The Look Of Love recently, which inspired me to dig out The Lexicon Of Love - I'd forgotten what a superb album that was.

Now 3 was the first one I bought - and played over and over until it fell to bits!

d.

PS "Beef Encounter" was mine, by the way. I also suggested "Shallow Gravy" but I didn't catch if they mentioned it.


They did mention Shallow Gravy. My favourite was Jurassic Parkin.

They had asked for people to tell them about their favourite compilation albums - mine is The Marquee - 30 Legendary Years. I had it on cassette and played it over and over again, usually in the tapedeck of my mum's old Vauxhall Chevette when I was driving it. It lasted until my friend Gina spilled a can of Coke over it which ate through the tape. I replaced it on CD recently.

The Chevette was written off when some numpty in a Golf gti went into me at the Bay Horse roundabout in Huddersfield.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


red marley

Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2009, 01:14:03 pm »
[...] The miners' strike headline is simply setting the time context by using what was probably the most memorable event of 1984 - the year tha Virgin Atlantic started flying. It makes no comment about the strike or those involved, so I cannot understand why anyone would be offended by it. Or are people not allowed to mention the strike any more unless it's in earnest, serious debate?

My opinions carry no authority here, so it's not a question of "not allowed", but rather what I found annoying. Unfortunately (for me at least), Virgin's voice through their advert is much, much louder than mine, so their particular view is going to be the one that dominates.

I'm not convinced that the ad makes no comment about the strike. Clearly the advert is very carefully constructed and much effort is invested in the meanings and context of the symbols used. Yes, mentioning the strike is shorthand for 1984, but it is mixed with dozens of other images reinforcing the same time, almost all of which are style and fashion orientated (haircuts, music, colour etc. and even other ads of the time). By cramming them all together, the comment it makes about the strike is that its weight and significance was as about as transient as shopping in Our Price with a permed mullet. I'm guessing that if instead, they'd opened the ad with another shorthand for 1984 - Michael Burke staring down at a starving five-year old Ethopian - they would have received a few more criticisms of trivialising and tastelessness.

As for the harem being a pastiche of Catch Me If You Can/Robert Palmer/Fly Me ads - yes of course it is. But it's not subverting those images, it using them (and women's bodies), ultimately without irony, to sell flights. It's pretending to be knowing, but only in the most superficial style-focussed way.

Fly JWO airlines, no onboard entertainment guaranteed.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2009, 01:19:43 pm »
Or are people not allowed to mention the strike any more unless it's in earnest, serious debate?

It does seem slightly crass to make a throwaway reference in a humorous context to something that seriously blighted the lives of many people - especially as it's very much a living memory. Admittedly not as bad as if they'd mentioned the IRA Brighton bomb, Indira Ghandi's assassination or the Union Carbide meltdown...

There were plenty of other big stories they could have referred to without risking offence - Seb Coe and Daley Thompson winning gold in the Olympics, for example, or the first untethered space walk.

d.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2009, 01:23:12 pm »
As for the harem being a pastiche of Catch Me If You Can/Robert Palmer/Fly Me ads - yes of course it is. But it's not subverting those images, it using them (and women's bodies), ultimately without irony, to sell flights. It's pretending to be knowing, but only in the most superficial style-focussed way.

Yebbut, my reserves of righteous anger at the gratuitous use of sex/glamour in advertising have long since been drained...

d.

Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2009, 01:26:58 pm »
Aren't some of the references (Miner's strike, big mobiles, stupid braces, grey airline uniforms) also a pop at London British Airways ?
Virgin the innovative, colourful newcomer taking on the staid, dour, arrogant incumbent.




citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2009, 01:27:16 pm »
I just realised  that that Youtube clip is of a weird remix that samples the Smiths  ???

Hippychick by Soho was a modest hit in 1990 or thereabouts. Funnily enough, since we're also discussing compilations, it appears on a compliation called Awesome! that I was listening to only the other day.

d.

border-rider

Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2009, 01:29:08 pm »

It does seems slightly crass to make a throwaway reference to something that seriously blighted the lives of many people in a humorous context

Ok, fair point, but the reference isn't derogatory, its just a reference to something that happened.

I was thinking when I read your post about Prince's Sign'o'the Times and the rocket ship line. I found it startling at the time.  20-odd years later maybe less so.

Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2009, 01:43:45 pm »
It's pretty impressive that Virgin's stayed around so long. Its forerunner Laker went belly up thanks to BA being a bit dodgy, TWA, Pan Am, British Caledonian all gone too.




Really Ancien

Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2009, 03:07:46 pm »

It does seems slightly crass to make a throwaway reference to something that seriously blighted the lives of many people in a humorous context

Ok, fair point, but the reference isn't derogatory, its just a reference to something that happened.

I was thinking when I read your post about Prince's Sign'o'the Times and the rocket ship line. I found it startling at the time.  20-odd years later maybe less so.

Sally Ride, Heavy Metal, Suicide.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/MP0APvTSMMw&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/MP0APvTSMMw&rel=1</a>

Damon.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2009, 03:59:22 pm »


I was also very excited to hear that they've reissued the first Now That's What I Call Music, which is also celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

d.


Radcliffe & Maconie on R2 last night were talking to the bloke who compiled all the NTWICM albums. Can't remember his name.  My friend Lisa had Now 1 & 2, I had 3 & 4. On double cassette.

Ashley Abram
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2009, 06:08:51 pm »
It's pretty impressive that Virgin's stayed around so long. Its forerunner Laker went belly up thanks to BA being a bit dodgy, TWA, Pan Am, British Caledonian all gone too.

Not sure I've understood you correctly, but there is and was no relationship between Virgin and Laker, other than SRB's admiration for what Sir Freddie achieved against some decidedly underhand tactics by BA! They got him in the end, but he learned a lot - much of which he passed on to Branson. Pan Am (1927-91) went bankrupt and folded after years of mismanagement, capped by the Pakistan hijacking in 1986 (Flight 73) and the Locherbie bomb in 1988 (Flight 103) in which a total of 290 people died; TWA (1930 - 2001) was also badly mismanaged - it went into bankruptcy three times ('92, '95 and '01) - before being acquired and absorbed by American Airlines. BCal (1970-87) was blighted by poor government management of UK civil aviation, and was bought out by BA in 1987.

Virgin is but a stripling compared to those American lines, but its management (so far) has been exceptionally astute. It has no debt, a lot of money in the bank, and is currently making more money than BA despite being around 1/6th of BA's size. It remains in profit right now, which is somewhat of a rare thing amongst airlines!

Rob S

Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2009, 07:34:14 pm »
No doubt, I'll be accused of humourlessness, of missing the joke, or that adverts have always done this sort of thing, but that doesn't stop it from annoying me.

No, you're absolutely correct about the glib miners' strike reference. The current economic crisis probably only makes it worse.

It merely demonstrates The Sun's way of covering things at the time...I don't know if 'It's The Pits' is an actual headline...and if it was whether it was refering to the strike, the press coverage of the strike, the lies by various parties etc etc

Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2009, 07:45:59 pm »
By referring to Laker as Virgin's forerunner, I just meant an airline that shook up the industry with its pricing etc.

Rob S

Re: Virgin Atlantic ad
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2009, 07:48:52 pm »
It's pretty impressive that Virgin's stayed around so long. Its forerunner Laker went belly up thanks to BA being a bit dodgy, TWA, Pan Am, British Caledonian all gone too.

Not sure I've understood you correctly, but there is and was no relationship between Virgin and Laker, other than SRB's admiration for what Sir Freddie achieved against some decidedly underhand tactics by BA! They got him in the end, but he learned a lot - much of which he passed on to Branson.

Not between Laker him/itself....but a former Laker top bod started a small transatlantic operation which Solid Rocket Booster bought in to after meeting at a party.