Awards case study: ‘Inspiring internal film relies on employee charisma to showcase new product’

Category entered: Best Video/Animation Title of work: VTV Cribs – take a look at our new A350 By Virgin Atlantic internal communications team

12 Apr 2023
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The Virgin Atlantic workforce of around 6,500 people is made up of 80 per cent frontline or remote workers globally. Keeping them informed and inspired is a small but mighty internal communications team, equivalent to 2.5 people.

The pandemic was the most challenging period in Virgin Atlantic’s 38-year history. With mass redundancies, grounded planes and huge uncertainty, the company faced a tough battle for survival.

Knowing the company would be welcoming its newest plane into the fleet, it was the right time to start bringing back some of the Virgin flair and fun, and reenergise and excite its people about the airline’s future.

With several challenges to contend with, the team decided a video would be the best communication method to introduce the new A350 and inform, inspire and involve people. Customer service agent Marc was the true star of the show and managed to bring the storyboard to life in a truly Virgin way.

The video received the best engagement of any workplace video to date, with comments full of positive sentiment. To this day, there are still people around the business talking about the film and it’s now the bar Virgin tries to reach with other internal videos.


Goals and audience

The internal communication strategy is centred around three I’s: Inform, Inspire and Involve.

The video was created primarily for people, and secondarily as an asset that could be amplified on the social channels. The objectives were:

  • Inform the whole business about the arrival of the new A350 to the fleet – in particular crew, pilots and engineers, who would be working on the plane, as well as the customer centre, marketing and sales teams who needed to be able to sell the new product, equipping them with USPs and key information.
  • Inspire and excite people about returning to the skies with a beautiful new aircraft, while driving reassurance about the future of the airline.
  • Involve people by boosting morale.



The arrival of a new aircraft is huge news. Historically, Virgin had big budgets and held in person events where people can tour the new aircraft and receive freebies. For G-VEVE’s arrival, Virgin had a limited budget of £2,500, stringent restrictions and still some uncertainty and low morale. All of this meant a need for creativity and to bring the plane to people in a different way.

Involving people and having them at the heart of the storytelling is a core part of the internal communication strategy and why the IC team chose to have one of Virgin Atlantic’s people as the star of the video.

After they’d agreed on the MTV Cribs-inspired video, the team watched a number of episodes to help shape the storyboard and script. Marc, a customer service assistant, was chosen as someone who is well known among colleagues at Heathrow, has Virgin flair and charisma in abundance, and would do a great acting job.

Virgin had some added pressure of contending with the engineering hangar’s schedule to get access to the plane. This was only confirmed two days before so a quick turnaround was needed.


The creative approach was inspired by the well-known TV show MTV Cribs, while putting a Virgin Atlantic spin on it. MTV Cribs shows houses, while Virgin showed off its new plane. The team wanted to balance being informative with fun and humour while giving a full tour of the new aircraft and showing it off in style.

The video was shared on the core communication channel, Workplace, and signposted on the intranet. It also played on digital screens in locations where frontline teams continued to work throughout the pandemic.

Results and Measurement

The video was watched by nearly all employees – 5,000 out of 5,200. Over 400 people liked the video, which is the highest number of likes for a video, and there were 105 positive compliments with love and praise for Marc, the new A350 and the video itself.

Amplification followed across the social channels, reaching 1.3 million across the consumer and corporate platforms as the celebrations were showcased to people and customers.

Virgin saw improvements across the board through Workplace statistics: monthly active users increased by 6 per cent, weekly by 5 per cent and daily by 3 per cent, with a clear spike of users the day the video went out and the two weeks after.