Virgin Atlantic Love at First Sight

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating 25 years of “Red Hot” flying this year with “Love at First Sight”, a TV advert reenacting Virgin’s inaugural flight in 1984. The spot, featuring the Frankie Goes to Hollywood track “Relax”, shows cabin crew and flight officers walking through a crowded London airport, turning heads and changing the airline industry forever.

Virgin Atlantic crew

It’s June 22, the year 1984. The miners strike is in the news. Latest innovations include a bulky mobile phone, a Rubik’s cube and a 25 cent video game of Asteroids. Grey, pink and pastel are all the fashion but they fade in comparison with the arrival of the new Virgin crew clad in red. Paparazzi abandon their celebrity model to get a pic of the high heeled flight attendants in red. Stewards from established airlines grimace as they realise they’ve been outclassed. An airport worker says, “I need to change my job.” A traveler replies, “I need to change my ticket.” The spot concludes with the Jersey Girl Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-443 G-VGAL with signage marking 25 years.

Click on the image below to play the video.


The Virgin Atlantic Love At First Sight campaign was developed at Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, by creative director Mark Roalfe, copywriter Pip Bishop, art director Chris Hodgkiss and agency producer Tim Page.

Filming was shot by Traktor via Partizan, with director of photography Stephen Blackman and producer David Stewart.

Editorial work was done at Final Cut, London, by editor Rick Russell, assistant editor Simon Rodgers and producer Michelle Corney.

Post production was done at The Moving Picture Company, London, by post production producers Sophie Gunn and Paula Da Costa, colorist Jean-Clement Soret, VFX supervisor Matt Unwin, VFX team Christian Anderson, James Bailey, Per Bergoten, William Broadbent, Kuldip Dail, Andreas Graichen, Michael Gregory, Olivier Jezequel, Carsten Keller, Adam Leary, Richard McKeand, Rod McFall, Stephen Newbold, Simon Payne, Owen Williams, Marcus Wood.

Colorist Jean-Clement Soret gives some of the background…

“We needed to make the girls as glamorous as possible, creating a catwalk look whilst retaining an element of 80’s authenticity. The main challenge in the grade was correcting the interior/ exterior colour whilst matching the different areas of the airport. As usual with Traktor a lot of attention to detail was carried out in the grade, enhancing 80’s logos, wardrobe, fashion, accessories, games etc”.

The 2D team were responsible for enhancing Robin Brown’s production design of the airport to mirror the Heathrow of the 80’s. This, like the grade, involved work on hoardings, and shop facades as well as integrating other 80s references. Trees were integrated into exterior shots again emulating London’s airport at the time. The dynamic camera move in the final shot follows a 747 travelling the skies, with the Scarlet lady adorning her side.

Sound was designed by Aaron Reynolds at Wave Studios, London.