British Airways throws away the advertising rule book

British Airways throws away the advertising rule book

The campaign, designed to ‘celebrate the pivotal journeys in life that contribute to shaping the futures of its customers’, focuses primarily on the flyer’s personal experience, as well as the majesty of flight.

Collaborating with its agency, Uncommon Creative Studio, British Airways enlisted the talents of Emmy Award winner and Grammy nominee, Miles Jay, as the film director. Additionally, Saint Saviour, the frontwoman of Groove Armada, curated the music with acoustic tones and subtle vocals that evoke feelings of nostalgia for travel experiences shared with loved ones.

Centered around the idea of journeys shaping individuals' futures, the advert narrates the story of a baby envisioning the myriad experiences awaiting her as she embarks on her inaugural trip with British Airways. It captures poignant moments in her future, illustrating how each journey can inspire and influence one's life path.

Making its television debut during an advert break of the popular show "Gogglebox," the advert highlights the airline's employees, who feature prominently in both the television commercial and out-of-home imagery.

There’s even a new onboard safety video celebrating British culture and its menus British provenance. The presentation features British celebs including presenter Robert Peston and rapper Little Simz.

Out of Home and out of the ordinary

The outdoor imagery meanwhile, captures passengers' awe as they gaze out of aircraft windows at the world below from 35,000 feet. By spotlighting customers' emotions rather than the typical view from the window, the campaign aims to provide deeper insight into their unique stories and motivations for travel.

Our take

The first disclaimer of note is that most of the rule-breaking methodology here should probably not be followed by lesser-known/beloved brands. British Airways, however, has the benefit of being a central player in the unforgettable experiences of many British travellers, achieving a respectable 7.3 rating on Flight-Report.

The instantly recognisable, understated decal that clothes British Airways planes carries ample nostalgia for holiday-makers, affording British Airways the creative licence to turn its television adverts into short films, of sorts, mining the sentimentality of our first plane trips and experiences outside of the UK.

Likewise, the onboard safety video has the viewer’s full approval in playing to our national pride. Like the TV spot, this bit of creative focuses on the travel experience, only this time using humour instead of empathy, acknowledging our very British instinct to switch off mentally during an in-flight presentation.

The real rule-breaking, however, is reserved for the stunning OOH campaign, which features no call to action, no QR code, no embedded logo, and no strapline. Why? Because they can, that’s why. The images are a reminder that, even in the age of global warming fears, flying is still one of the pinnacles of the human experience and a defining part of our life journey.

As the sun reflects on the British Airways logo, a single passenger looks out, dwarfed in comparison to the 747 airplane ready to be reminded that, while we might be very fond of street-smart rappers hailing from North London and the amiable BBC broadcasters that bring a sense of structure to our lives, there’s definitely life outside of Blighty.

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