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Case Studies


Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy press campaign

Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy press campaign

Manning Gottlieb OMD & Telegraph News Group


Virgin’s Premium Economy was in danger of becoming the best kept secret in the skies; those who knew about the cabin loved it, but the majority were confused by the offering and its benefits.

The business had invested significantly in a refit of the cabin and the subsequent marketing task was to drive the return on that outlay.

We needed to launch the cabin, educate consumers and give Premium Economy a personality that made it distinct from the other cabins, all whilst being outspent by BA five to one.

The Big Idea

“Not roomy, but more room.” was a key outtake from the research. We recognised legroom was just a part of a wider trend towards the increasing desire for space in our crowded lives.  It wasn’t about selling a bigger seat, but the luxury of time and space.

We would do this by only appearing in environments that portrayed both the physical benefits (size, space) and emotional benefits (less stress, tranquillity) of time and space.

Making it happen
National press supplements out-performed all other media opportunities vs. ABC1 transatlantic flyers.

Given BA’s dominance of spend; it was important to concentrate our resources into the most profitable environment.  The Telegraph readership is dominated by Virgin’s chief rival, BA.

Following a pitching process the Telegraph responded with a unique proposal that delighted MGOMD, a bespoke edition of Saturday’s UltraTravel magazine.  Rebranded, under the title Space, this was editorial not advertorial, a true partnership.

“The Waldorf Astoria in New York serves its martinis in an oversized glass. Why? Because the extra space in glass means that the ingredients are able to oxidise more freely, enhancing the tastes of each spirit.”

Throughout, a core team comprising Telegraph journalists, Virgin Atlantic in-house writers, agency people and Telegraph representatives worked closely together.

The combination created content with a subtlety and tone that worked for the Telegraph editorial and sold for the client.   With the client about to sign off, disaster struck.

The Ultratravel issue date had to be moved, no longer coinciding with our crucial cabin launch date. All our hard work was set to go to waste and our relationship with the Telegraph was hanging by a thread.

The core team worked hard to evolve the original idea into a reversible issue of the Daily Telegraph Saturday Mag, leading to a final result that exceeded all the original expectations of the client, ourselves and the Telegraph team.


A 20 per cent uplift in brand awareness. 70 per cent having recalled seeing the ‘Space’ feature in the Telegraph.

Over a third of those that recalled seeing the feature visited the website, a key requirement in our initial objective.

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