Tag Archives: MTV

Richard Branson A Jumbo Jet and An Inflatable!

Todays piece is about doing stuff that may appear bigger than you can handle; but in reality it is just the perception of what’s possible and not to hold back on going BIG!

You’ll surprise yourself that the perception of crazy …”we can’t do that moments” turn out to be the most successful no matter how wacky. Generating ideas and staying in the flow creates a level of inspiration that can turn out to be highly rewarding.

To coin the collective phrase about brainstorming sessions…”Lets do a mind dump” as I experienced regularly in workshops within the “MAD MEN” – Ad / Media world. This is where a lot of unique creative thinking is borne . Stretching the limits of ones mind to market a brand or product. This activity is now used in all manner of industries to gain advantage over market share in growing economies.

I can draw an analogy of this based on my own experience a few years back. Sounds crazy but …I recall back in early 1990 working on the RayBan Sunglass account and coming up with all sorts of ideas to expand the brand – At the time Richard Branson ” The Smiley One” was making huge endeavours to transform the Airline business and I thought there was a perfect fit with our Aviator line of glasses.

Prior to this Virgin Atlantic  had already received a licence to open up the Los Angeles route from Gatwick and the official launch was May that year. We wanted to sell our product within “Duty Free” on airlines and the company had already struck a deal with Virgin. I had this idea of painting a pair of Wayfarers on the nose cone of one of their Aircraft to commemorate the partnership which Richard was very excited about. The launch was going to be a typical Virgin style send off with media reporters, Celebrities, TV networks like MTV attending and Richard wanted to make a mark in demonstrating new horizons for the airline business.

But after many discussions the CAA wouldn’t agree. Too “Over The Top”- they said  – it would effect the “aerodynamic stability” was the official line. How the acceptance of the norm has changed over the years – There’s painted branded aircraft everywhere now.

Anyway…. Determined not to be put off by their decision I remembered that Richard loved ballooning as part of his crazy promotional Virgin activities. I thought why not set the scene for a summer beach theme at the check in gate with a Jumbo pair of Inflatable Ray Bans resting on the nose cone of the Jumbo Jet. How  crazy is that —— Well after going back to talk with the various  “officialdom” …..Imagine my astonishment when it was all approved.  “As long as the Pitot tubes are turned off ..(they measure air speed / pressure ) they get very hot when systems are being charged during maintenance so can burn plastic”. they said.

Here are a few picks of the set up in prep before the launch  ( me in the foreground) making sure everything would run to clockwork on the day.

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And here is Richard Branson joining in with the fun before the inaugural flight.

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Never let the initial possibility  of “what can’t be”  get in the way of “what could be”. Go and fulfill your potential and become an expert in something new.

As Richard would say ” Just Go For It” …

 

To your success.

Steve