Velocity Frequent Flyer is the loyalty program of Virgin Australia Airlines. It makes money when people transfer their credit card reward points to Velocity and then use them for flights. Problem was, not enough people trusted that Velocity was the best place for their points. To change their perception, our campaign made a point about the responsibility all brands owe their customers.
Trust is hard to come by in loyalty land. And to compound the issue, established global airlines and brands were creating distrust by continuously making mistakes and then not owning up to them.
Honouring a mistake is the quickest way to build brand trust. So, we made a mistake by ‘accidentally’ adding 999 million points to The Million Point Giveaway – creating The Billion Point (that was supposed to be the million point) Giveaway – and then sent it to half of Australia.
After 24 hours of headlines and an explosion of commentary questioning whether it was ‘million’ or ‘billion’, we decided to honour the ‘mistake’ (like all trusted brands should) and let Australia reap the rewards.
The consequences that followed were documented in a 40-part mini-series. But unlike most dramas where you have to tune in, the content from this series found you, knew what you’d already seen and then served up the relevant episode the next time you went online. Each film was optimised for all digital and social formats.
The ‘mistake’ also made its way onto in-flight announcements, influencer sites, breakfast TV, radio, outdoor and even Linkedin, where ‘Tim’ (the intern who sent the initial email) searched for a new job – ultimately resulting in his promotion to ‘Brand Architect’.
Tim went from villain to hero and created the biggest transfer month in Velocity’s history. The mini-series was viewed 7,333,290 times against an eligible audience of 2,600,000. 60.2% YOY revenue growth was achieved on 35% less working media budget. Every dollar spent generated $6.6 in return. And most importantly, Velocity Frequent Flyer gained the trust of Australia.