Crashing the Super Bowl

What do you do when you have an opportunity to get your business in front of the biggest audience in the world – but you are being blocked? Think creatively. With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend, I am reminded of one of our favourite creative campaigns.

The cost of advertising around the Super Bowl is extremely high – far more than Virgin Atlantic could afford in our early days. But we did have an airship company, and had secured a deal to provide bird’s eye view pictures from above the stadium during the Super Bowl. We were told, in no uncertain terms, that the TV channels were strictly banned from showing our blimp and its large Virgin branding.

Undeterred, we came up with a cheeky way to get the camera operators’ attention, and get some much–valued screen time. In huge red letters, we wrote “NBC CAMERAMEN ARE THE SEXIEST MEN ALIVE” on the bottom of the blimp. As one would expect, soon the cameras were pointing at our airship as often as they were at the game!

Without using any budget, we managed to get Virgin Atlantic on screen at the biggest sporting event in the world. By thinking about the people implementing the rulebook, rather than the rules themselves, we were able to get around it. Crucially, we were able to put a smile on people’s faces too.

When I attended an NFL game for the first time, it just so happened that the New England Patriots were playing - they beat the Denver Broncos in a thrilling game and it was a brilliant spectacle.

Of course, this year’s Super Bowl is being held in Atlanta, the home of Virgin Atlantic’s wonderful partners Delta. The team have given four tickets away to our Delta colleagues in celebration of our five year anniversary with Delta. Here’s to many more years of great partnership together.

This is also the first Super Bowl in which carbon emissions from the fans’ air travel to the game will be offset. The Rocky Mountain Institute has partnered with Atlanta International Airport and the Good Traveler to support projects that will offset the fans carbon by making good use of waste and reducing greenhouse gases.

Keep an eye on Virgin Atlantic and Delta’s social channels to see how our guests enjoy the big game, and visit the Rocky Mountain Institute’s website to keep up to date with their efforts to create a low-carbon future.


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