Virgin Red, the loyalty scheme available to all customers of Virgin Group brands, has appointed Carat to handle global media strategy, planning and buying, taking over from Bountiful Cow, which has handled the business since 2020.
The appointment, which follows a three-way pitch handled by the Aperto Partnership, sees the Dentsu agency become responsible for managing strategy, planning and investment across all media in the UK, US and various European markets.
First launched in 2015 and relaunched in 2018 and 2020, Virgin Red works alongside the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club and now covers all UK Virgin branded companies, including Virgin Media, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Active, Virgin Holidays, Virgin Hotels, Virgin Experience Days, Virgin Balloon flights, Virgin Vouchers, and Virgin Money and also includes non-Virgin companies as well.
The scheme offers members five categories, including with what it calls “everyday treats” such as drinks and snacks, “travel and adventure” on Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Holidays, Virgin Limited Edition and Virgin Voyages, and “extraordinary experiences” from Virgin Experience Days and EMI Records.
In addition there are “points for good” giving members opportunity to donate to charity via Virgin Money Giving and “everyday living”, where customers can earn Virgin Points on from a range of high street and online retailers including Marks & Spencer, Boots, B&Q, John Lewis and Partners and Just Eat.
In 2021, Virgin Red appointed two marketing agencies, brand engagement specialists Glow London and creative agency Truant London, to handle the roll-out of the programme, following a four-way competitive pitch.
Virgin Red managing director product, customer experience and marketing Kelly Best said: “We have exciting plans to grow Virgin Red globally and reward Virgin customers across the Virgin family. The strategic approach the team took during the pitch process demonstrated that Carat will be a great partner on that journey. We’re very excited to work with them.”
Carat UK chief executive Clare Chapman added: “I’m so proud that Virgin Red has chosen to work with Carat across the UK, US and a number of European territories. We are excited to grow its brand through our collaborative, people-first approach and to partner with the team within the framework of a truly innovative commercial proposition. We can’t wait to get started.”
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