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Virgin America launches first-of-its-kind brand campaign featuring Google Street View

With new "Seat View" campaign, Virgin America becomes first major U.S. commercial airline to feature its product on Google Street View, allowing travelers to test drive their seat before they fly.

SAN FRANCISCO – Virgin America has launched an interactive brand campaign that allows travelers to test drive their flight before they take off – thanks to Google Street View. As the first major U.S. commercial airline to touch down on Google Map’s Street View, travelers can experience a 360-degree, interactive tour onboard the Virgin America aircraft they would be able to fly from any of the 22 destinations the award-winning airline now serves. The unique “Seat View” campaign includes the integration of actual Google Street View tours of the airline’s Airbus A320 cabin into interactive outdoor and immersive digital experiences, along with traditional Out of Home (OOH) content and online display support. The outdoor components will live in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Washington D.C., and Chicago while digital support spans across all Virgin America markets. The Google Street View tours can also be experienced at or by heading to Google Maps and searching for “Virgin America” and the departing airport. Once there, visitors will see the red Virgin America pin and a Google Street View and they can click ‘see inside’ to take a virtual tour of the aircraft operating from that airport.

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

Developed with the airline’s creative agency, Eleven Inc., the Google Street View campaign will include OOH billboards, digital banners, and interactive bus shelters where users can interact with the Google Street View experience on a large-panel touchscreen. Most recently, Virgin America and Eleven collaborated to launch its 2014 Radical Departure campaign, which featured a 5 hour 45 minute film promoting “Blah Airlines” – a generic new airline meant to represent the mundane flight experience offered by the mainstays of the airline category. Called “brilliant” and “warholian” by AdWeek, BLAH Airlines Flight 101 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 campaign also won three One Show Pencils and was shortlisted at Cannes in four categories.

“People have increasingly come to rely on Google Maps and Google Street View to explore their world – and we’re pleased to help travelers better understand their travel options,” said Deanna Yick, Street View Program Manager at Google Maps. “We hope launching this Street View imagery will help better inform travelers of what they can expect, and to see Virgin-America’s award-winning cabins.”

As the only airline headquartered in Silicon Valley, Virgin America has created a loyal following of travelers thanks to its innovative and consistent in-flight experience. With an all new fleet of custom-designed Airbus A320 Family aircraft, Virgin America offers fleetwide touch-screen personal entertainment, WiFi1 and power outlets at every seat. Virgin America recently conducted an analysis of data provided by Routehappy, an independent product differentiation platform for air travel, which confirms just how consistent the airline’s product is2 versus the competition:

  • 100% of Virgin America flights have power outlets, compared to other carriers operating on the same routes – which only offer power outlets on 66% of flights.
  • 100% of Virgin America flights have in-seat in-flight entertainment, compared to other carriers operating on the same routes at 33%. This means travelers have a 70% chance of staring at an upholstered seatback on their next flight, instead of a screen with in-flight entertainment (let alone Virgin America’s touch-screen platform with live TV, latest release films, on-demand food ordering, seat-to-seat chat, interactive maps, video games and more).

The Google Street View 360-degree interactive tour includes:

  • The airline’s Main Cabin, which features custom-designed black leather seating with a deeper, more comfortable pitch – and in-seat power outlets.
  • The airline’s Red entertainment platform which offers every guest their own 9-inch touch-screen with more than 25 films, live TV, a 3,000 song library, and an on-demand menu, which allows flyers to order a cocktail or snack from their seatback any time during the flight.
  • The airline’s Main Cabin Select, where guests stretch out with 38 inches of seat pitch and enjoy free food, cocktails and unlimited premium entertainment with an all-access pass. Main Cabin Select offers dedicated space in the overhead bins and priority check-in and boarding.
  • The airline’s exclusive First Class Cabin, with eight plush white leather seats, each with up to 55 inches of seat pitch – 7 inches more than industry average2. When in-flight, these seats recline up to 165 degrees and are fitted with lumbar massagers.

Virgin America has been named the “Best Domestic Airline” in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards for the past eight consecutive years – and just last month captured the “Best U.S. Airline” title in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for an unprecedented eighth year in a row.  Since its 2007 launch, Virgin America has created nearly 3,000 jobs and expanded its network to include Austin, Boston, Cancun, Chicago, Dallas Love Field, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Cabos, Newark (NJ), New York (JFK and LGA), Orlando, Palm Springs (seasonal), Portland, Puerto Vallarta, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C. (IAD and DCA), Honolulu and Maui-Kahului (as of December 3, 2015).

[1] WiFi will be available on Hawai’i flights from mid-2016.
[2] Analysis conducted by Virgin America using data from Routehappy. Virgin America vs. competitor flights on Virgin America routes only, August 2015.

Photo caption: A bus shelter in San Francisco featuring the new Virgin America Google “Seat View” advertising campaign (PRNewsFoto/Virgin America).

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