Tag Archive | british airways

Good ad / bad ad: Another lemon from British Airways

Oh British Airways. What has happened to thee?

Gone are the years of your beloved ads. Gone are the days you could lay claim to being the world’s favourite airline. And now, it seems gone are the days where we could hope BBH could start churning out some decent work for you.

After the Facebook chairs turd, we now have this from BA’s . How do they differentiate between their offering and the aggressive low-cost competitors? Which benefits do they really zone in on…

  • A greater route network to central airports not miles from where you want to be?
  • A focus on their generous Air Miles (well, Avios) scheme that means the more often you fly, the greater the benefits?
  • A genuine focus on the superior service offered by their highly trained (and highly paid), cabin crew?
  • A poxy piece of lemon in a plastic cup?

It’s not funny. It’s not engaging. It’s a pretend piece of talking lemon in a free drink (big whoop), that in my view, should lead to a serious shake up. Something somewhere just isn’t right.

A freelance journalist was asking his Twitter followers to send in questions for his upcoming interview Sir John Hegarty on Twitter a few months back .

My question?

Hand on heart, did he really want any of BBH’s British Airways work on his reel. For some reason, despite acknowledging the question (and passively agreeing with me), he chose not to ask it. I shall leave you all to draw your own conclusions.

Seems everyone on the BA account is too busy zigging…

Iain G. Morrison prefers lime in his gin.


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…

Gold for British Airways?

I’ve been very critical of much of British Airways’ marketing over the past few years. Since they left the Saatchi crew, their work (a little like their service), has been somewhat lacklustre. However much I dislike the campaign personally, all the PR they’re pushing out says it’s working, so who am I to judge? Bravo…

However, this new spot to maximise their Olympic sponsorship isn’t half bad. It’s not brilliant, but it’s a massive improvement on the bilge BBH have been trotting out for them these past few years.

I remain to be convinced they are ready, mind.

I’m a massive supporter of the Games and the economic benefit they’ll bring to Britain in 2012 and beyond. But our creaky infrastructure can barely cope at the best of times, let alone with a glut of additional Games time visitors. I truly hope I’m wrong on that one mind. Time will tell…

Iain G. Morrison will be going for gold this summer. In the gin drinking finals, of course. Good odds on a medal…

Hot topic of the day. British Airways seats…

£120 extra to choose our seats. Worth every penny???

£120 extra to choose our seats. Worth every penny???

British Airways has decided to charge passengers who choose their seats before they travel from 7th October…

So, who will this affect? 

Families who want to ensure they sit together, business travellers who are using the flight to work alongside fellow colleagues, and normal punters with a preference for window, aisle or emergency exit seats (am always an aisle man myself). 

The cost? Reports say this will range from £10 per person for European economy flights, to £60 for long haul trips in business class. Ouch!

BA currently allows passengers to reserve seats 24 hours prior to departure when online check-in opens. The new charge (aimed at passengers wanting to reserve seats earlier than this), can be booked between 4 and 10 days before take-off. A BA spokeswoman said:

 “Customers frequently request specific seats, but in the past we’ve only been able to confirm them 24 hours in advance or on the day. We know people want to secure them in advance and have real control over their flying experience. This will allow them to do that.”

This move is just one of a number of initiatives that aim to bolster the balance sheet (after a £401m loss in the last financial year). It follows BA’s decision to cut luggage allowances and abolish free meals on short flights.

This may be seen by many in the industry as something of an own goal, given that the airline ran a campaign a few months back looking at the comparative charges low-cost carriers charged for the add-on ‘extras’, seat selection being at the forefront of that push.

Looks like BA may be in for another bumpy PR ride over the coming weeks. Expect a tactical ad or two from Virgin Atlantic any minute NOW…

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And thinks they may have been wiser to move to cheaper wine…

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Ryanair vs the free toilet brigade…


When was the last time you paid to go to the toilet?

If you live in London (where there are 40% less public toilets than 1999), you might benefit from pubs, shops and department stores joining the mayors toilet campaign.

I mean, why maintain the cisterns from the public purse, when the private sector will let you use their fancy facilities?

Marvelous cost efficiency…

Meantime in the private sector, the Ryanair toilet debacle rages on.

In recent months Ryanair has (in my view), conducted a textbook PR campaign, drip-feeding the press stories on their new cost cutting plans.

Everything from charging to use toilets, passengers carrying their own bags to the plane, through to stripping out standard seating for bar stools to get up to 30% more people on board.

Whether or not you agree with the sentiment behind the stories, they have certainly kept Ryanair in the press, and generated a significant amount of free coverage.

But what impact does this have on their brand?

BrandRepublic recently commissioned some vox pops, that asked prospective travellers how they felt about charging passengers to use the toilet.

Responses (as you’d expect) range from, “its ridiculous” and “its horrific”, through to “I am not really bothered, they are no-frills, you get what you pay for”.

I don’t want to ramble on, but just a few things from me…

  1. Ryanair are a no-frills airline. You don’t expect free peanuts, wine, etc. If you have to pay to use most UK public conveniences, why should a toilet on board a plane be any different?
  2. Most flights are short haul, with plenty of opportunities in the airport to use free facilities. Given this, what’s the fuss about?  Go before you go!
  3. Like most other sectors, one brand tends to be bold, innovate, take risks. The others follow. How many other airlines will quietly adopt Ryanairs policies after a few months?

I can’t help but feel it’s a little too easy to knock Ryanair for this.

Ultimately, they are a no-frills airline; the business model has always relied on a totally different pricing structure in order to make / increase / maximise profits.

With the travel sector suffering across the board (and even BA reviewing their peanuts and wine policy), it’s going to be a tough year. 

But, I can’t help feeling that this won’t harm Ryanair significantly in the short / medium term.

Some people will never fly Ryanair as they simply don’t do low cost. Some will still go with whomever is cheapest, and others will base their decision on airport / ease of access to final destination.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough. And given the amount of coffee I’ve had this morning, I am off to spend a penny…

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And is wondering if there will be free loo roll, or will that be 20p extra? 

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