R.I.P. Virgin Blue, Hello Virgin Australia

In a bid to pitch upmarket (read: business travellers, Monocle readers, business travellers who read Monocle), Virgin Blue has rebranded itself and will henceforth be known as Virgin Australia. Since the previous name sounded like some phantom venereal disease you sometimes get when you’re really, really cold, we’re sure it’s working already! So does Richard Branson who made the announcement today in Sydney: ”I’m absolutely thrilled with the new look and feel of Virgin Australia’s domestic product,” he said, “and I know it will shake up the Australian travel market on a larger scale than it did 10 years ago.”

Subscribing to the Don Draper school of self improvement, the name change comes with a new cabin deign, gourmet menu, TVC and minimalist all-silver logo (see below). Dubbed Now You’re Flying, the TVC positions Virgin as the modern alternative to Qantas while distancing the brand from the budget market they once dominated. “We’ve assembled the best to put the magic back into flying” one title reads. It looks impressive. Real impressive. Having said we’re still a bit confused by the commercial’s narrative (it would have made more sense if they abducted an air force pilot, a famous chef and the citizens of Singapore then paraded them down the tarmac at gunpoint) but it feels uber-modern and fun which is what Virgin is all about right? Good work everyone involved.

R.I.P. Virgin Blue.