Air Miles gets close with Tessa Virtue

The loyalty program hopes to remind customers of the tangible benefits of being a member in phase two of a campaign.

Air Miles has enlisted Tessa Virtue for the second wave of a campaign designed to remind existing collectors and prospective customers of the tangible benefits that come from being a member.

New social and video content featuring the Canadian Olympic ice dancer is part of the loyalty program’s “Miles Bring You Closer” work that first went to market last year.

The goal, says Rachel MacQueen, the company’s VP of marketing, is to remind collectors and non-collectors of the many ways they can be rewarded through the program.

In the spot, Virtue (who signed on as a brand ambassador in February) is seen organizing a girl’s night for her and her friends. She fills her car with gas, collecting miles through Air Miles, then visits the grocery store and pharmacy, using her miles towards purchases for the evening. “Air Miles,” she says in the spot, “brings her closer to moments with [her] girls.”

In addition to working with Virtue, Air Miles is re-running last year’s TV spot and working with other influencers that are more regionally focused, MacQueen says. Each will speak to the elements of the loyalty program that is most relevant to them, whether they are grocery shopping for the family, visiting a Cineplex movie theatre or organizing a trip. “What we’ve added this year is really amplifying the story behind the experience.”

Virtue is a powerful spokesperson for the brand, according to MacQueen, because she “embodies the joy and excitement that comes with being an Air Miles collector,” and is herself a long-time member (at least according to a tweet shared with her 130,000 followers). “She’s experienced the gaming of getting the miles, and the enjoyment of using the miles for a number of different rewards. We wanted to take what we do from a brand message perspective and then really have it come to life through authentic storytelling.”

Air Miles kicked off its partnership with Virtue ahead of Valentine’s Day in February. At the time, she helped curate products from Air Miles’ Shops programs (which rewards members when shopping online at hundreds of different retailers), sharing some of her favourite Valentines Day products with her own followers.

In Quebec, where Air Miles’ Cash program is particularly popular, MacQueen says the brand is running OOH assets in addition to market-specific social and influencer content.

The Virtue spot will be supported with other social and digital clips running throughout the latter half of the year, alongside a mix of other materials emphasizing different aspects of the program.

Ahlfeld Media and Mamma Media are leading on media and North Strategic on PR. The T1 Agency currently handles experiential work for the brand. Rethink led the creative work for the campaign last year.

Correction: A previous version of this story identified Cairns O’Neil as the media agency leading the campaign. We regret the error.