Stellar Entertainment takes Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines’ sonic strategy to new heights with customized, upbeat boarding music.
United’s first “Rhapsody in Blue” ads in 1987 may have popularized the trend, but airlines have been using music to brand themselves for decades. The more recent trend towards bespoke airline boarding music has only amplified things further. In fact, the music airlines play in flight has garnered such a huge following on social media of late that Air France even has its own Air France Music Facebook page.
Keenly away of the huge impact that music has on the passenger experience, Stellar Entertainment – which made a splash earlier this year with its bespoke boarding music for Malaysia Airlines – has done it again with its new customized piece for Virgin Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA).
“The piece was designed to be uplifting.” – Sam Allen, Stellar Entertainment
Unlike the Malaysia Airlines piece – which was a bespoke composition incorporating an eclectic range of instruments like the erhu, pinai (flute), gamelan, sitar and more – the license-ready piece Virgin Australia chose for its boarding music came from Stellar Entertainment’s in-house library of original compositions. It draws on deep house and Balearic beats to create a fresh, vibrant and modern sound that’s upbeat without being too exuberant.
“The piece was designed to be uplifting,” Stellar Entertainment‘s director of Licensing, Sam Allen, told APEX Media. “While it wasn’t intentionally created for the post-pandemic traveler, there’s no doubt that airlines will want their passengers to feel at ease when flying, and a subtle approach to reassuring passengers is certainly through an airline’s sonic strategy.”
Allen’s colleague, Stellar Entertainment creative director Brad Power, agrees, adding that music matters now more than ever.
“Music has always been a catalyst in triggering emotions. It can make you laugh, it can make you cry. I have been moved to tears by listening to certain pieces of music, not because I was sad, but because of the beauty of the composition,” Power said. “Airlines have always known how popular music is as a form of entertainment. Offering choices of playlists, radio shows or albums is important. And in terms of boarding music, creating a sense of familiarity and optimism is equally important and should reflect an airline’s brand.”
Already deployed fleetwide, Virgin Australia and VARA’s new signature boarding music is also currently being used on the airline group’s on-hold phone systems as well.