what becomes a legend most?
Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 18, 2010 11:30 AM
Any brand owner looking to learn a lesson about getting noticed should just watch Richard Branson.
The iconoclastic head of Virgin has a penchant for publicity that keeps his name popping up in the press with uncanny regularity.
His latest gambit is silly but it's still making headlines. Branson bet AirAsia owner Tony Fernandes that his Virgin Racing Formula One team would finish higher than Fernandes' Lotus Racing team. The loser of the bet agreed that he would dress up as a woman flight attendant for the winner's airline.
Well, Sir Richard lost, and Tony is playing out the bet for all it's worth.
Fernandes told the UK's Daily Mail that "it's time for Richard to start preparing himself for some hard work and the likely pain of high heels." He added, "Many years ago Richard Branson employed me so I'm looking forward to him sucking up to me as a stewardess!"
Branson, who's redefining internal brand engagement by publicly answering questions from Virgin employees (above) to honor his 60th birthday, will experience what his female in-flight crew experience by serving as a flight attendant for a rival airline brand — down to dressing the part.
Travelers can buy a ticket to be served by Sir Richard on an upcoming AirAsia flight on its Kuala Lumpur/London route. Seats will be made available through an online charity auction that will raise money for a charity of Branson's choice.The 60-year old Branson has already received his uniform and flight attendant badge from Fernandes.
Keith Collantine, editor of Formula 1 website F1 Fanatic, commented to the Daily Mail about the publicity stunt, "Richard Branson has always been a master of marketing. He knows that this brand can only benefit from this sort of publicity — even if the joke's on him."
A veteran at embarrassing himself through marketing stunts in order to promote his many brands, his self-mocking ways only endear him to the public — Virgin Airlines just topped a ranking of brands based on emotions and passion expressed by consumers on social media.