Virgin Atlantic seems to have a creative ad agency. Earlier this year the company launched the world’s first airplane art gallery, recently it changed a regular public park bench in Manhattan into an airplane seat.
Unsuspecting people that take a seat are treated like first-class passengers on a Virgin flight. Visitors of the park where the red cushioned bench was installed, have no idea what’s going on when suddenly drinks and food are served by flight attendants, as well as hot towels for some refreshment. Also a touch screen with movie options is available. As soon as the visitors make a choice, scenes from the movie are performed live on the square in front of them.
The installation is obviously nothing more than a temporary marketing stunt, but in terms of city-making it’s also thought-provoking. The concept of special services in public space is interesting as all public benches have the same status and there doesn’t seem to a thing as differentiation in urban seating experiences.