British airline Virgin Atlantic has just become the first European carrier to offer transatlantic wi-fi across its entire fleet. To promote this new amenity, Virgin will reverse the flow of on-board entertainment: instead of packaging content from the outside world for its passengers, the carrier will host and broadcast live comedy shows taking place on airborne planes.
On September 28, six US comedians will take off from London Heathrow on six separate US-bound flights. Abbi Jacobson, co-creator of broadcaster Comedy Central's show Broad City, is headliner and curator of the #LiveFromVirgin Comedy Festival. Rather than perching on a wooden stool in the aisle, the comedians will use Virgin Atlantic's on-board wi-fi to broadcast their sets in Instagram Stories and tweets.
"There have been airlines that have done movie screenings and live music, but those are all for a very small audience, for the people flying," explained Scott Vitrone, partner and chief creative officer at Figliulo & Partners, the agency behind the festival. "We want to broadcast it to the world." The #LiveFromVirgin Comedy Festival ties into an existing hashtag the brand already uses to share moments from its passengers and staff in the air.
For more on sharing live experiences on digital channels, see Retail's VR Future: Communal Digital and Rebuilding Consumer Trust: Advertising Week Europe 2017. For the latest industry insights on social engagement, look out for our coverage of Social Media Week London 2017, publishing this week.