Virgin Australia has swept Australia’s advertising awards with its audacious campaign that convinced people that Alan Joyce was the CEO of Qantas.
The campaign was so successful that a hoax press conference in which Alan Joyce purported to sack 5,000 Qantas staff became front page news around Australia.
“We couldn’t believe it,” said Virgin boss Richard Branson. “As if Qantas – a national treasure that prides itself on safety and customer service – would sack 5,000 staff!”
Branson said that the Alan Joyce Qantas campaign was the most successful he’s been involved with.
“When people thought Alan Joyce was in charge of Qantas, our passenger numbers went through the roof. In 2011 we even managed to get Alan Joyce to ground the entire Qantas fleet!”
“There’s no way we’re stopping the campaign yet. At the moment we’re working on getting the Federal Government to pay for our next round of ads.”
The success of the Virgin campaign is bitter irony for Qantas.
Qantas had itself profited from an Alan Joyce campaign in the 1990s, attracting passengers from rivals Aer Lingus and Ansett with the slogan: “What did the Irishman do to the airline?”
“The difference with our campaign is that Alan Joyce was actually running those airlines,” said a Qantas insider. “Now he’s done a job on us. Unfortunately, due to poor visibility about where Virgin was going, we just didn’t see it coming.”
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