Virgin Australia celebrates return to the skies post COVID and administration

Virgin Australia has put a positive spin on the realities of near-empty airports, as a young girl expresses her excitement to be back in the air, by dancing through the airport to INXS’s ‘What you need’.

Titled ‘You can’t keep a good thing down’, the campaign is the first major marketing activity since Virgin Australia was placed under voluntary administration on April 21, after failing to secure an agreement on financial support from the Australian Government and investors. The campaign is also launching just days ahead of the airline’s sale to Bain Capital going through on Tuesday 17 November.

The travel bans implemented in Australia to control the spread of COVID-19 earlier this year reduced Virgin’s domestic activity by 90% and led to the stand down of approximately 8,000 staff.

The campaign was created by CHE Proximity as a project for the brand. DDB Sydney remains the creative agency of record for Virgin Australia. The campaign was a collaborative effort between Virgin Australia and Velocity Frequent Flyer, which CHE Proximity holds the creative account for.

The film, directed by Revolver’s Matt Devine, features 12-year-old Melbourne schoolgirl, Annie Jones, who was a 2020 finalist on America’s Got Talent.

Virgin Australia general manager of brand and marketing, Michael Nearhos, said the campaign was a celebration of Australian’s safely taking to skies once more.

“As state and territory borders safely reopen and more Australians consider traveling, we wanted to show them how they’ll feel to finally enter the airport again to go on that holiday they’ve been dreaming of, to conduct business or to reunite with family and friends, and this campaign certainly captures that,” he said.

“’You can’t keep a good thing down’ has two meanings– it’s not only a nod to Virgin Australia looking to the future but it’s also about giving travellers confidence that after a period of uncertainty, the Virgin Australia they know and love is up there flying again, and here to stay.”

Ant White, CHE Proximity chief creative officer, said the campaign found the perfect attitude for Virgin Australia.

“It has been an honour to help tell one of the great Australian recovery stories with Virgin Australia and Velocity. ‘You can’t keep a good thing down’ is a tribute to the fighting spirit Virgin brands are born with and marks the next chapter of their success here in Australia. We’re thrilled to be going on this journey with them,” White said.

Nearhos also noted the energy Annie brings to the ad and the brand. “Annie has got this amazing, vibrant, and warm personality and an infectious zest for life which is a really great fit for our brand and we know Australians will fall in love with her just like we did,” he said.

Complementing the launch of the campaign, Virgin Australia is also offering over half a million fares from $75 including baggage and seat selection. The sale kicks off today until 20 November unless sold out.


Virgin Australia
Michael Nearhos, General Manager Brand & Marketing
Dean Chadwick, Acting Chief Marketing and Loyalty Officer
Rapthi Thanapalasingam, Head of Brand, Consumer &  Media
Erina Chapman, Brand Communications and Governance Leader
Alexandra Davey, Brand Marketing Specialist

CHE Proximity
Ant White, Chief Creative Officer
Holly Alexander, Director, Strategic Production
Ashley Wilding, Creative Director
Daniel Davison, Creative Director
Cameron Dowsett, Senior Copywriter
Mark Tallis, Senior Art Director
Fee Millist, Senior Copywriter
Cass Jam, Senior Art Director
Darren Cole, Head of Design
Vanessa Saporito, Senior Designer
Caitlin Perz, Production Assistant
Reece Lawson, Digital Design Lead
David Halter, Chief Strategy Officer
Chris Howatson, Group CEO
Lorraine Gormley, Client Partner
George Robertson, Senior Account Director
Production Company: Revolver
Michael Ritchie, Managing Director/Co-Owner/Producer
Pip Smart, Executive Producer/Partner
Matt Devine, Director
Lachlan Milne, Director of Photography
Neven Connolly & Cass Merwood, Chorerographers

Post Production : ARC Edit 
Dan Lee, Editor
Ben Eagleton, Colourist
Daniel Fry, Executive Producer

Sound Post: Sonar Music
Timothy Bridge, Sound Designer
Sophie Haydon, Executive Producer

Noel Gate – Group Business Director
Erin Hudson – Business Director
Stefan Boden – Group Trading Director
Monique Gilbert – Activations Account Director
Dylan Long – Account Executive

Music Supervisor – Anton, Trailer Media


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