Virgin’s AFL Grand Final get together kicks off the social foolish season


Guess which Melbourne VIP get together will function these eye-popping parts this week? Invitees will step into an “Urban Utopia” that includes a mock Hong Kong grocery store the place they will order an alcoholic slushie or get their future informed in a subversive fortune cookie sales space.

Does this sound just like the Virgin Australia AFL Grand Final Party to you? Footy-heads, one of the best AFL get together on the town is not what you anticipated it to be.

There’s a brand new buzz phrase within the model biz: ‘Brand Reinvention’. Surely, social media has heralded the last decade of the model. People – human beings, and not using a firm – discuss “being on brand,” which is definitely simply one other means of claiming they wish to be true to themselves, however on Instagram.

Brand Ambassador is 1 essentially the most coveted jobs you’ll be able to have. And today, manufacturers aren’t scared of adjusting issues up within the identify of reinvention – it is what they need to do with a view to evolve.

Innovate, invigorate

For Inese Kingsmill from Virgin Australia, the evolution of their AFL Grand Final get together makes good sense. She’s conscious that “brands can’t stand still. We need to make sure we’re constantly innovating.”

Virgin is not the one established model shaking factor up. 

When the Victoria Racing Club unveiled their newest marketing campaign on the Myer Spring Racing Lunch this month, it was met with gasps of shock: as a substitute of watching fairly fillies (of each feminine and horse selection) on the display, the video opened with skateboarder Adam driving by a prepare station, telling his associates, “Yeah, I’m in.”

He’s adopted by the bearded (and gray) dandy Marek nodding his head, and a mixture of younger and outdated chiming their affirmative RSVPs to the Melbourne Cup Carnival. It’s not speculated to enchantment to the staid members of outdated; it is about shifting ahead.

Tradition will get turned

“I think we have this wonderful luxury in racing of great traditions, but if that’s all we are, we become a little bit stale,” says Victoria Racing Club’s Executive General Manager, Caroline Ralphsmith.

“For the last few years, we’ve tried to play up the fun side of what we offer, and this year we are dialling it up further, making sure the younger audience sees us as something that’s happening for them. Our main message is that the Melbourne Cup Carnival is for everyone – if you’re in Melbourne you should absolutely be going, because people from Japan want to be there.”

Still, certainly a skateboard will alienate some?

“I’ve been doing this for too many years; you’re prepared for someone to hate it. Sometimes you take risks and it doesn’t pay off, but you have to take risks or you will be the same forever and ever, and that is not a recipe for success.”

Unexpected experiences

MRC’s Chief Commercial Officer Peta Webster is nearly the poster girl for model reinvention: when she got here into her place lower than 2 years in the past, she reinvented Caulfield’s Fashions on the Field by turning it into a contest that is judged through photographs taken on the Westfield Style Stakes custom-made studios on the entrance garden.

This 12 months, she’s happy with MRC’s collaboration with Los Angeles scorching spot E.P. & L.P. Rooftop Bar and Restaurant, whose pop-up can be within the Heath Enclosure at Caulfield.

“We wanted to get the message across that Caulfield isn’t the usual, expected experience,” says Webster.

“But we still thought we can’t go too far; we have to be respectful to our loyal membership.”

For her, reinvention is a part of the job description: “It’s about always improving, and never saying that something is good enough.”

The sharing economic system

Bruce Keebaugh’s The Big Group is occasion producing the Virgin Australia AFL Grand Final Party, and he says that “we know that parties aren’t just parties – they’re really marketing activations. We have to understand what their brand is in our approach.”

These days, when a model reinvents itself, social media performs an enormous half in getting the brand new message throughout.

“The sharing feed is terribly important,” says Keebaugh.

“This is a party that’s destined for guest interaction at the event and also outside of the event. We have 500 people there, but the reach could he hundreds and thousands and even millions if we get it right, if we get the ‘shareability’ correct. Social media has had an impact on the way we create these experiences, so there are amazing backdrops and quirky things that are also brand appropriate.”

Covet issue

But whereas social media “likes” can partly decide the extent to which model evolution is profitable, Virgin Australia’s advertising and marketing specialist Tess Moroney prefers to make use of one other touchstone.

“Every year, this [AFL] party is bigger and better and a ticket to it becomes more coveted. A couple of years ago, Usain Bolt turned up completely unannounced – he managed to find out the information and he and his entourage turned up. To have this global superstar want to come to our party goes to show how awesome the event is.”

The Virgin Australia AFL Grand Final Party will happen tonight.

Rachelle Unreich from

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