One intern at Velocity Frequent Flyer (the loyalty program of Virgin Australia) has made a spectacular blunder by “accidentally” giving away one billion points instead of one million, and to the company’s credit, it has chosen to honour the “mistake”.
In the early hours of Monday morning, Velocity Frequent Flyer members were “accidentally” sent an email offering them a share of one billion bonus Velocity points if they transferred their points over from their bank credit card – an offer that was signed off by “Tim the intern”.
By midday, Velocity admitted its ‘mistake’ and agreed to honour the extra 999 million points.
The offer is the launch phase of a month-long campaign via CHE Proximity that will play out like a mini-series. The campaign consists of over 40 different videos that document the impact of giving away that many points.
Print, social, digital, airport lounges, and Virgin Australia in-flight announcements will be used to amplify the campaign over the month. Velocity’s marketing team will also search for a new intern who is “good with numbers” via LinkedIn.
All content will ultimately direct consumers to claim their share using a specially built points calculator that lets them evaluate how many points they will benefit from, thanks to ‘Tim the intern’.
To claim a share of the one billion points, members can move their credit, charge or Flybuys card points over to Velocity before the end of May.
Velocity chief marketing officer Dean Chadwick said: “We wanted to reframe our traditional 15 per cent bonus campaign and inject some humour to resonate with our members.
“Australians don’t often know that they can easily move their credit card rewards points to Velocity to go on great holidays with family and friends.”
Ant White, executive creative director at CHE Proximity, said: “We were asked to enter into unchartered territory for Velocity with this campaign and do something unique for the brand.
“Blaming the intern felt like a fun and human way to do it. Let’s face it – we’ve all been that guy or girl. But instead of approaching it like a bunch of ads, we created a content series that plays out on screens and in the real world for one month.
“Everything we did for this campaign had to be crafted and feel authentic to the Velocity brand and its ties with Virgin Australia. From the first email, to the in-flight announcement, to the website experience and even the media placements, it was a huge team effort.”