The best ad I’ve seen in a long, long time appeared quite by accident as I was searching for porn in an American hotel.
Searching for porn is generally the second thing most men do when they enter a hotel room, the first being sitting down at the end of the bed.
We’d all like to admit that we turn on CNN or catch the latest first run movies but no, it’s a quick flick of the thumb to an endless list of uncensored smut.
Smut that just so happens to cost twelve dollars US.
Hotels go to enormous lengths to stress that the titles won’t ever appear on your hotel bill, this is a wise move. Unfortunately we’ve all experienced that hideous moment that occurs when a wife or girlfriend checks out instead of you and spots movies that she can’t remember watching.
Attempting to explain that the movie was actually Three Colours Blue or something doesn’t quite cut the mustard when the bill quite clearly shows that you watched the first eight minutes and then switched off.
But I digress.
Twelve bucks for porn is quite a sum. That’s two and half-hours in Hoyts rather than ten minutes at the end of your bed in a dressing gown, and let’s face it – none of us watch the damn things to the end anyway.
So it was a pleasant surprise to find a movie entitled ‘Suite and Innocent’ amongst the rest that appeared to be completely free. ‘$0.00 will be added to your bill’ it proclaimed underneath a picture of a woman I freely admit to finding extremely attractive.
My first reaction was to assume it was one of those awful soft-core productions that people like Erik Estrada find themselves doing after ten years without a gig.
Still, it was free, so I ordered the thing. I had to.
I sat back and enjoyed the dodgy video montage of stars I would soon be watching. ‘Miles High’ seemed to be the muscular chauffeur and ‘Summer Turbulence’ was the blonde who had piqued my interest earlier. She was reclining in the business class section of a plane. It was one of those seats that go completely horizontal and the girl sitting in the next seat seemed to be enjoying the show. She too began to recline and for one second I thought it was all about to kick off.
Unfortunately, the scene changed to a limousine ride from the airport. Miles High licked his lips a lot as he watched the very lovely Ms Turbulence in the rear view mirror. Male porn stars do this a lot, and it’s generally the cue to fast forward.
The limousine pulled up outside a large mirrored building, and the still lip licking Miles High escorted Ms Turbulence inside. It was here I spotted the Virgin logo on the tailfin of a model 747.
Putting a Virgin logo in a hardcore porn film would be rather like walking into Richard Branson’s office and attempting to punch him out, either way the lawsuit would be much the same.
It was the moment that Summer Turbulence started stroking the nose of the plane suggestively whilst moaning that I suddenly became really excited. (In two quite distinctly different ways I have to admit.)
It was all a sham.
And it was a beauty.
I had just seen Virgin’s Upper Class service in its entirety. I’d seen cabin space, reclining seats, free limo service. I’d even seen the free shoe shine service.
And who was Virgin talking to? Predominantly male business travellers. And what do 90% of business travellers do? They sit at the end of their bed in their dressing gowns searching for porn.
The parody ends with some text on screen offering a frequent-flier reward for watching it. “Where you tell your friends you saw this offer,” the text reads, “well, that’s entirely up to you.”
Of course, if you have absolutely no shame you can tell them in a magazine article.
This article originally appeared in Adnews