Wunderman Designs Virgin In-Flight Console

LOS ANGELES New international airline Virgin America has unveiled its in-flight ad-sponsored consumer consoles.

The units support interactive applications such as text messaging within the cabin, pay-per-view movies on demand, live satellite TV, audio channels, games and meal ordering. The system also provides AC power and wireless connectivity for travelers with their own laptops.

“It has a really beautiful look and feel,” said Dan Olson, managing director of WPP Group’s Wunderman, Irvine, Calif., and COO of Young & Rubicam Brands. “It is pleasing to the eye as well as a very smart and seamless, easy-working environment.”

Wunderman’s interactive design team worked with creative agency Anomaly, New York, CoKinetic Systems, IMS and Panasonic Avionics, among others. Content partners include Disney, Echostar, Fox, Paramount and Warner Bros.

Olson said that the client came to Wunderman 18 months ago “because of our digital strength and branding ability. They are focused on the creative class as a target audience. It needed to carry the Virgin brand in every way, shape and form.”

Olson said the interface, spearheaded by the agency’s associate creative director Susie Lim, must also serve as a revenue center both for Virgin partners and advertisers who will be buying everything from banner ads to in-game messages.

The Burlingame, Calif.-based client is calling the console “Red,” according to Charles Ogilvie, Virgin America’s director of in-flight entertainment and partnerships in a statement. “It’s designed as a place where viewers are active participants in their entertainment experience. They truly can create, discover and enjoy their own in-flight experiences,” he said.