Archive | June 2012

British Airway’s should’ve stayed at home

It’s hard being number one. It’s even harder staying number one, as British Airways continue to prove.

Back in the day when they were the world’s favourite airline, the Saatchi & Saatchi boys and girls delivered campaign after campaign of pretty decent stuff. People loved the brand. People wanted to fly BA.

Then Virgin happened along. All the Asian airlines heavily invested in their product. BA stood still. They faltered. They fell behind. Worse still, BBH never seem to have taken them anywhere near the highs of years gone by. Dolphin clouds and racing luggage (which we all know so often gets lost in the depths of LHR), failed to capture the hearts the way a hint of the flower song from Lakme could do. So, a quick trip down memory lane. May look dated, but still…

Anyway, to the new BA campaign. As a domestic sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it’s time to activate the sponsorship. Many are claiming it’s a bold message. An airline trying to convince Brits to stay at home. It’s not.

Research from previous games has shown people who left the country during games time come home, and feel they’ve missed out. Moments that pull the nation together, both good and bad. Many shared moments of national pride. Hopefully a few medals. Real highs that forgive all the transport infrastructure issues and minor inconveniences. But BA telling us to stay home and support Team GB? I just don’t buy it.

This message feels as though it should be coming from the tourist board, not the former flag carrier. It’s sad that BBH haven’t been able to generate any great work for BA, and even sadder that the ‘fly a plane down my street’ is a much heralded, and massively overhyped part of the campaign.

I don’t like knocking BA. They’re a brand I’m genuinely fond of. But they, and indeed we, deserve far, far better than this…

Iain G. Morrison is a senior marketer that will probably be flying Virgin Atlantic next time he leaves Blighty…

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