Virgin America partners with IFC on multi-platform Portlandia activation

By Natan Edelsburg 

As Portlandia continues to dominate social TV and Virgin America continues to redefine what’s possible when it comes to in-flight entertainment, it was only natural that the two join forces. To promote Virgin America’s new daily nonstop service between Los Angeles and San Francisco to Portland, Virgin and Portlandia partnered for airport tarmac event, Facebook competition, a sweepstakes that awarded one winner a walk-on role in the current season of Portlandia, and an in-show integration in this past week’s (February 8, 2013, “Soft Opening”) episode.

The integration is featured in a sketch with Fred Armisen and guest star Rose Byrne, a newly dating couple headed to Italy for a third-date getaway on Virgin America. Scenes of the sketch were shot aboard a Virgin America plane at Portland International Airport using actual Virgin America flight attendants.

“We are always looking for ways to reach like-minded consumers in unexpected ways and Virgin America was the perfect partner,” said Blake Callaway, IFC’s SVP of marketing.  “They were opening a new route to Portland, so we worked with the show to feature Virgin America in a Portlandia sketch, and the show received exposure on all Virgin America flights and social pages.  Virgin America also helped us fulfill a fun fan promotion. A cool show, a great airline, and a unique city all benefitted.  That’s a great partnership.”

Portlandia will also be available on RED, Virgin’s in-flight entertainment system. The platform offers every flyer a personal touch-screen entertainment center on their seatback and features 24 television channels, on-demand films, an MP3 library with the ability to built in-flight playlists, a seat-to-seat text chat system and more. With fleetwide wifi offered, Portlandia will now be able to dominate social from the ground as well from the sky.