brand awareness

How Virgin Atlantic Took to the Streets

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January might be gone, but Virgin Atlantic’s flight attendant surprise event is pleasantly engrained in our memories. In promotion of its all-new Seattle-Tacoma International Airport departures to London Heathrow Airport, Virgin Atlantic hosted a recognition party in Emerald City. Emphasizing the airway between Seattle and London, the airline successfully highlighted its newest business routes.

The Reignmakers

The Virgin Atlantic campaign introduced “Reignmakers” which was a community reflecting London and Seattle’s “reign” and “rain.” We know, it seems a little forward. The display was, however, surprisingly poignant. All about cultural recognition, the Reignmakers hosted a massive, two-day party. Flight attendants zipped around Seattle in Virgin Atlantic labeled Mini Coopers, flying the airline’s flag.

Meanwhile, the event’s later hours hosted parties for the airline’s dedicated fans and passerby alike. Handing out swag to social leaders, radio stations, influential shop owners and small business owners, Virgin Atlantic connected consumers to industry trendsetters. High-traffic locations, naturally, were prioritized. In Seattle, refreshments were dished out on plane drink carts. Branded umbrellas and luggage tags were among the Virgin Atlantic swag collection.

Planes, Plans and People

Virgin Atlantic successfully aligned its newest business route with customers, prioritizing people above all. The approach might ambitious at first, but Virgin Atlantic has historically provided fantastic service. This time, indeed, was no different. The airline’s relationship with its customers has always focused on the incomparable Virgin Atlantic experience, and the Reignmakers honored such a tradition.  

Virgin Atlantic paired its consumer base with media influencers, hosting private breakfasts with big-time travel and lifestyle impactors. Hosted at Seattle’s The London Plane, the dinner dished out more branded gifts, exclusive messages from the airline’s founder Sir Richard Branson and even free onboard flight opportunities. Here, the airline’s goal was twofold: Eventgoers could experience the Virgin Atlantic hospitality while prepping for a high-end blogging experience.

Taking to Social Media

Reflecting the Virgin Atlantic attention to blogging detail, it pushed for additional promotion via social media. Seattle played host to the airline’s Reignmakers contest, and visitors could nominate their favorite brand supporters. There was heavy consideration of Virgin Atlantic visionaries, and rewards were given to those who subverted typical Virgin Atlantic ideologies, presentations and displays.

The contest took place until February 28, giving the Reignmakers ample time to get prepared, get social, get visible and—of course—party. A Seattle-based Twitter campaign gave eventgoers a place to post photos, link to Instagram and type their favorite tags. All around, the Virgin Atlantic experiential marketing approach was highly visible. It’s rare to witness such a social-heavy airlines marketing campaign. It’s also comforting. Virgin Atlantic displayed an uncanny knack for social relevancy, and it highlighted its most profitable marketing segment while remaining relevant to others—which is always a difficult hurdle.

How Demos Can Boost Your Brand Awareness

In the world of marketing, brand awareness is paramount. More often than not, product and service demos are solid foundations. If you want to boost sales, increase awareness and maximize your outreach, you’ll need to prioritize presentation, usability and—most of all—excitement. Check out the top reasons brands are demonstrating with demos, and redefine your marketing strategy from the ground up.


Reason One: Higher Sales

Using demos is smart, sales-wise. In fact, a lot of brands are optimizing their expenses to streamline in-store samples and demos. Studies prove that in-store demos boost same-day sales, brand franchise sales and long-term consumer habits. Even if you’re not a food provider, samples exist in other forms. That said, food-based samples alone can greatly impact sales. As an example, Costco samples reportedly boost sales by approximately 2,000 percent.

Reason Two: Lead Generation

Today, everything is digital. Because your consumers are using smartphones, Facebook and instant-access eCommerce portals, you’ll need to prioritize your brand’s lead generation power. How? By inviting consumers to receive special deals via SMS, email and social media posts. Consumers love free demos—especially if there’s little work involved. By offering demos, samples and discounts via a digital marketing strategy, you can boost your brand’s lead generation before buyers show up.

Reason Three: More Testimonials

In our highly digital world, positive online reviews are must-haves. Brands capable of inspiring high emotional intensity, on average, achieve three times as many positive reviews as other brands. Highly differentiated brands, too, earn positive word-of-mouth. If you can woo your customers with solid demos, exhibits and free trials, you’ll be set. Prioritize your brand’s emotional appeal, first. Then, focus on general marketing tactics.

Reason Four: Ongoing Sales Security

A solid demo campaign can boost sales over time. This is why marketers often take the experiential route—as they can reduce expenses by combining PR campaigns with on-location demo events. Immediate sales are important, sure, but they’re incomparable to ongoing sales-centric campaigns. If you can offer a solid demo, you can ensure registry sign-ups. From there, you’re established to re-promote, gain more followers and ensure future success.

Reason Five: Immediate Feedback

Because today’s feedback channels are often brand forums, review websites and social media, a little on-location feedback never hurts. Ask your demo crowd if the product works. More importantly: Ask them what they liked specifically. If they don’t purchase the product after, ask them why.

In any event, more information is better. Consumer participation is incredibly valuable, and it can power long-term brand campaigns. In the marketing world, getting experiential never hurts. In fact, it’s becoming a mainstream approach for many companies. When everyone can promote digitally, hands-on demonstrations are highly memorable.

How American Express Shared the Love with Small Gift Handouts


What do American Express and small businesses have in common? Great events. To jam-pack the holiday season with fun, American Express crafted an intuitive gifting campaign—surprising thousands of fans while leveraging its entire Shop Small platform. The event, itself, was all about putting small businesses first—sponsoring six different NBA teams while promoting holiday cheer.

The Shop Small for 2X Rewards Movement

American Express kicked off its event across six NBA games from November 10 to December 22. Their campaign, dubbed the Shop Small for 2X Rewards Movement, started at the HEAT’s Chicago Bulls game. The American Airlines Arena in Miami was a prime location for American Express’s reveal. Attendees were barraged with hundreds of customized T-shirts, which were ported directly from Peace Love World—a Miami retailer.

The Shop Small for 2X Rewards Movement didn’t stop there. American Express continued blasting fans until the Warriors game against the Celtics. At the event, American Express had a final huzzah by handing out 1,200 gift cards sourced from local businesses. On November 25, American hopped over to the Los Angeles Lakers game—offering another 1,500 sneaker wipes, gift cards and Lakers socks. This time, Blends—a local sneaker shop—was the benefactor.

Fast-Paced Giveaways

Among American Express’s big-time marketing initiatives, it’s fast-paced giveaways were certainly notable. It’s rare to see a competitive approach to swag handouts. That said, American Express’s presence at NBA games, in general, is telling. American Express distributed a recorded 22,000 candles at the Chicago Bulls game, representing 450 brand ambassadors in two minutes flat.

The historical experiential marketing moment might’ve been spearheaded by American Express, but the surrounding brands certainly had a say—and a massive presence. Local shop, Abbey Brown, was responsible for delivering the gifts. Once the campaign wrapped up, 250 Shop Small parachutes handed out another 2,000 wool gloves crafted by local Brooklyn merchants.

The Social Media Angle

No marketing outreach effort stands tall without a little social media support. In celebration of the event, American Express utilized its NBA partnership with Shaquile O’Neal to promote on Facebook and Twitter. Understandably, this approach was a good idea. The campaign, itself, was a prime example of American Express’s dedication to fan experiences.

Constantly encouraging credit holders to “shop small,” it isn’t strange to see American Express catapult an array of small-time gifts. Here, their targeting strategy is highlighted. American Express’s approach wasn’t about what was given—but how it was given. Card members are frequent amenity-lovers, and even a small marketing notion goes a long way. Marketing during a venue, certainly, is a unique angle. It’s entirely human, bringing products and services directly to the client’s level.