The flight from Newark to San Francisco is 5 hours and 46 minutes. In a video that completely captures the boringness of such a flight, Virgin America created a real-time video featuring mannequin people.
But it's not an ad.
Yes, you could watch the full video for nearly six hours. And since it's created by a brand, that would make it a very long ad. But very few people would do this.
Good YouTube videos are built for the user environment. Virgin serves up opportunities to hyperlink forward to a point in the video where a Virgin America plane flies the other way among that brand-distinctive purple-red painted sky. There the viewer can click 'the radical departure' which auto loads flights from the user's detected city.
Virgin America is still a challenger brand. Building awareness about their routes is important. And this was one of several ways they're doing that.
So if we keep our old school hat on, or put our click bait hat on, we would see this as a 6 hour ad. But then it would be a highly-questionable idea.
Whereas, if you look at this as an interactive video that will probably attract an unfair share of media attention, then it's pretty damn great.
It's still "advertising," but it's not a "6-hour ad."