How can you tell if you’re a BA person or a Virgin person? Well, below is a short quiz I’ve devised to help you decide:
Your flight is delayed. Do you…
- …get in a round of cocktails?
- …finish that spreadsheet you’ve been working on? or
- …curl up on a vinyl seat in the departure lounge and prepare for an uncomfortable night?
During the on board safety demonstration, you:
- …can’t take your eyes off the stewardess/steward because they’re really hot;
- …watch attentively; or
When the trolley comes round, do you…
- …order champagne?
- …select the healthiest option? or ask
- What trolley?
When you ask the stewardess for a glass of water during the flight, she:
- …bats her eyelashes seductively;
- …brings you a glass of water; or
- …charges you £2.50.
All done? Good. Here’s the answer key.
You have mostly 1s
Congratulations, you are hip, sexy and definitely in the target audience for the latest ad from Virgin Atlantic.
You have mostly 2s
You’re a dyed in the wool British Airways passenger, hard working and sensible, your head rules your heart as well as those other bits further down.
You have mostly 3s
Your airline doesn’t waste money on TV advertising, which is probably just as well. Like a visit to the dentist you just want to put the experience behind you.
Actually, the truth is that most of us would like to go back to the days when flying was glamorous and the cabin staff looked like extras from a Hollywood movie and Virgin has done a fantastic job of appropriating this territory for itself.
The latest ad from Virgin Atlantic is a spoof on the sort of film where the hero reveals his superpowers by lifting a car over his head at his fifth birthday party, only here the superpowers portrayed are an uncanny knack for predicting when someone is about to sneeze, wearing red shoes and catching a lipstick when it falls from an overhead locker.
As always, it is beautifully produced and everyone (except the nasally challenged passenger) is improbably good looking. There is a nod to political correctness with the introduction of a male cabin steward, but only a nod, the captain is ruggedly handsome, middle aged and of course male as is the young, geekily good looking engineer, but the stars of the show are of course the air stewardesses, teetering on red stilettos (surely impractical in the case of an emergency evacuation?) and displaying smiles so dazzling as to put Simon Cowell in the shade. Whereas BA is solid and trustworthy, Virgin is sexy and fun.
And why not? As winter trudges drearily on and the economy seems poised to tip into another recession we need a bit of escapism, a splash of red in a beige world and I for one will be opting to fly with Virgin the next time I book a holiday, politically correct or not.
Frances Brindle is director of strategic marketing and communications at the British Library.
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