Virgin Australia Velocity Offering Points To Members To Promote (Recently Devalued) Program

Virgin Australia has launched an interesting promotion for their Velocity program. They are giving members the chance to win packs of Velocity points if they promote the benefits of the Velocity program the best through their social media networks.

They’ve released the following video to explain further:

 

They also give the following steps to participate in the competition from now until November 30:

Earn: You could earn Points for telling the world – via social media – how awesome Velocity Points are. Ensure your profile or post is public so we can see it!

Promote: Simply promote a Velocity benefit and we could reward you with Velocity Points

Create: Create a GIF, a video, a work of art. Take a photo, write a poem. Whatever it is, just make sure it promotes Velocity.

Tag: Tag @velocityfrequentflyer and use #earnbassador on social media so we can find you. If we like what you’ve done, we could top up your Points balance.

The prizes are decent:

  • 20 x 1,000 Velocity Points
  • 30 x 2,000 Velocity Points
  • 40 x 3,000 Velocity Points
  • 40 x 5,000 Velocity Points
  • 10 x 20,000 Velocity Points
  • 10 x 40,000 Velocity Points
  • 10 x 50,000 Velocity Points
  • 5 x 100,000 Velocity Points

My big issue with this promotion

I’ll admit this is smart, cost effective marketing by Velocity.

The general public is more likely to believe a Velocity benefit if they see a friend sharing their own personal travel story on social media than if Velocity just sends out yet another email. And the prize of all those points has a minimal cost to Velocity.

But Velocity has just announced huge devaluations to the program and I expect this is damage control to try and cover up all the negative publicity they’re receiving online, with some positive publicity.

There have already been some really negative changes to the Velocity program over the last few years including:

And then just this month they have also announced the following devaluations from January 1 next year:

Singapore Airlines A350

Bottom line

I’m torn as to whether to even participate in this competition. I do think Velocity points are easy to earn, and in the past I have redeemed them for some incredible flights, including Etihad’s A380 First Class Apartment, which was an unforgettable experience.

And of course I would love to win some points.

But at the same time I no longer think Velocity is a compelling program with these continual devaluations. I’ll write a ‘best uses of Velocity points’ post soon given how much the goal posts of the program are changing but, for example, I used to value a Velocity point at around 1.2c (US) whereas I now would only value a Velocity point at around 1c (US) because of the devaluations.

It also seems a bit dishonest to promote the benefits of the program to friends and family by showing how I have used those points in the past, when those points are no longer as valuable as they used to be.

Are you participating in this promotion? Do you think Velocity is still a compelling program?

Comments

  1. Try to listen to your ethical core. Think of it like this. Would you promote buying Alaska miles a day after writing that they have become impossible to use? Put it in that category.

  2. What @Stvr said x 2

    I have also had some great redemptions (4 x Bus flights to LA and NYC), but now can never find redemptions I want.

    I wouldn’t touch this promo con spin with a 10ft barge pole.

    Remember they have advertising agencies they usually pay real money to for this sort of social media content.

  3. Its a bit dishonest to say “Velocity wants members to promote devalued program” your making it sound like they are forcing their members to or they are trying to trick you. In my opinion a more neutral title should read “Velocity is offering bonus points to members who promote (devalued) program”. I know this is a bit ridiculous though when I read the post title I thought velocity was doing something wrong and unethical.

    FYI Qantas has been imposing those carrier surcharges for years. And I still think Velocity and Qantas are pretty equal with maybe velocity still coming out slightly on top (depends on how much you value Oneworld)

  4. “Virgin Australia has launched an interesting promotion for their Velocity program. They are giving away free packs of Velocity points to members who promote the benefits of the Velocity program the best through their social media networks”

    Actually, no they are not. That is a very misleading statement because it suggests all you have to do is promote VA on social media to get a pack of free points.

    In truth they are selecting a few chosen members who promote the benefits of Velocity to win one of a limited number of prizes (as the article later explains).

    Ethics aside, the real question is why would you bother?

    Well to answer that you need to know the number of prizes to determine the probability of a win and the size of the prize you might win.

    These at a can be found on the Velocity website:

    “…There is a share of two million Velocity Points (2,000,000) to be won. There is a maximum of 165 prizes to be won. The best valid entries, as determined by the judges, will win. The Prize consists of:

    a. 20 x 1,000 Velocity Points;
    b. 30 x 2,000 Velocity Points;
    c. 40 x 3,000 Velocity Points;
    d. 40 x 5,000 Velocity Points
    e. 10 x 20,000 Velocity Points
    f. 10 x 40,000 Velocity Points
    g. 10 x 50,000 Velocity Points
    h. 5 x 100,000 Velocity Points

    17. Average total prize value is $74,000 AUD (excluding GST). The prize is not exchangeable and cannot be taken as cash…”

    Using the points valuation from VA (which comes out as $0.027 per point) there are:

    20 prizes worth $27.00
    30 prizes worth $54
    40 prizes worth $81
    40 prizes worth $135
    10 prizes worth $540
    10 prizes worth $1080
    10 prizes worth $1350
    5 prizes worth $2700

    Taking a position that prizes at the $135 and below are too trivial to be worth the time and effort, that leaves a total of 35 prizes.

    If the promotion is a disaster and only attracts a participation by 1000 members then the odds of winning a decent pay back are 35/1000 or around 1 in 30.

    The promotion is still a budget black hole at participation by 10,000 members since it will have cost $6.76 for VA to get each promo post: the odds of winning a decent pay back are then 35/10000 or around 1 in 3000.

    Once the promotion becomes even remotely successful (say 100,000 members participate) the odds of pay back for participation are so low (now 1 in 30,000).

    IF VA has pumped the numbers correctly to make this promo cost effective your odds of winning anything of real value are very remote!

    So unless you believe in the frequent flyer fairies, or deploy your own highly paid ad agency creative team to shorten your odds, you don’t even have to trouble yourself debating the ethics of the promotion – it’s a total waste of your time!

    Your’e better off finding one person for an AMEX recommendation for a guaranteed points boost!

    (PS. Enjoyed the Morocco tour article!).

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