NYC & Company x Virgin Atlantic/Holidays Pride Flight and WorldPride

NYC & Company x Virgin Atlantic/Holidays Pride Flight and WorldPride

Brief: The campaign was three-fold. 1) To celebrate WorldPride being held in the US for the first time and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising (where the modern gay-rights movement began in NYC). 2) To encourage LGBTQ travel to New York City. 3) To promote and reinforce the image of NYC being a welcoming and diverse global city.

Action: Hills Balfour partnered with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays to stage the world’s first ever Pride Flight and invited key UK media, influencers and celebrities to experience WorldPride in NYC in June 2019. Hills Balfour persuaded Virgin to take the Pride Flight to NYC and to time it with the high profile LGBTQ milestones of WorldPride and Stonewall50. The Pride Flight was the first ever fully LGBTQ focused flight, with all cabin staff/pilots identifying as LGBTQ and it was sold to passengers as being the beginning of milestone celebrations in NYC. While Virgin organised the flight element, Hills Balfour led on the ground programme in NYC for when the 50 media, influencers and celebrities landed. This was achieved in partnership with Downtown Alliance, a NYC & Company member responsible for business in the revitalised Downtown Manhattan area, to secure hotel rooms, event venues and experiences that successfully showcased the very best of NYC, with a LGBTQ travel link. The guests were given a full weekend programme that Hills Balfour curated, including a showcase event at One World Observatory, a brunch event at The Beekman Hotel (both of which were attended by Sir Richard Branson), as well as securing VIP tickets for WorldPride events including the viewing of the March, plus the Official Closing Party in Times Square. Hills Balfour also managed all branding requirements on NYC & Company’s behalf, ensuring prominent client branding was on display at key events that were covered by the media.

Results: To date, in the run up to and during WorldPride, Hills Balfour has generated over 45 pieces of coverage in print, online and broadcast with a value of over £15 million. The hero pieces included: three segments on Good Morning Britain, The Independent online, The Telegraph online, Metro, Travel Weekly and TTG.