Virgin Atlantic

Thank You Deer

Visual effects, holograms and artwork for the world's first connected gaming experience at 35,000ft

In collaboration with Microsoft

Virgin Atlantic in partnership with Microsoft came up with a way to say a truly magical, sky-high thank you to its customers at Christmas.

Across two Wi-Fi connected flights, from Shanghai and London, Richard Branson appeared via Skype announcing that Santa desperately needed help. He had strayed off course into the upper atmosphere and his reindeer were lost around the globe. Using Microsoft’s connected gaming experience, the passengers on both flights worked together to solve the clues, reunite the reindeer with Santa and get him back on course for Christmas.

The team at Radio Design had a lot of fun collaborating with Microsoft and Virgin Atlantic to create visual effects, holograms and artwork for the experience.

See how the magic happened in Virgin Atlantic’s campaign video:

Visual Effects

The story of Santa’s adventure was told through visual effects sequences we created for the game experience and the campaign.


The hologram animations floated above the Microsoft Lumia devices on-board, and were used as clues in the game to help customers locate the reindeer.


Artwork created for the game experience and the online/offline campaign.

The Lost Reindeer

The missing reindeer scattered around the globe. Of course, Dancer ended up in Vegas. Can you guess where the others got to?

In order of appearance: Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Dancer, Dasher, Donner, Prancer, Vixen and Rudolph.

Illustrations by Andy Potts.

Behind The Scenes

We even got to meet the man himself. Santa kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to attend the shoot with his reindeer.

And here’s how everyone did it:

Project Credits

  • SVP, Marketing and Customer ExperienceReuben Arnold
  • GM, Microsoft Brand StudioJeff Hansen
  • Senior Manager, Customer ExperienceMark Croucher
  • Brand CopywriterHannah Riley
  • Creative DirectorFred Warren
  • Technology LeadGiri Tharmananthar
  • Digital LeadAdrian Fraguela
  • Art and Animation DirectorBen Cook
  • Animation and VFX LeadJess Gorick
  • Animation and VFXAlex Dobbin
  • Animation and VFXDarren Hanson
  • Animation and VFXDave Baum
  • IllustrationAndy Potts
  • Video ProductionDan Disney
  • Video ProductionMerrick Cardew
  • Video ProductionMatt Hurley