BA – Big Advertising

On Sunday I managed to grab some time to see “Tinker, Tailor,Soldier, Spy” at the cinema (NB An excellent representation of John le Carre’s work) and during the advertisements noted that beyond the beer companies, the advertising was poor.

Fast forward to 11am Wednesday and I was reassured that the days of “big advertising” were indeed not over. Much heralded via social media, in what seems to be a well executed, integrated campaign, British Airways broadcast their first big budget advertisement for what seems an age.

Does it work ?

Well it does for me. Opening up the “archives” and pulling out heritage and continuity must score high on the list of attributes BA’s current customers think about the brand. I would guess that many people feel a sense of reassurance when they see the distinctive tail fin at a foreign airport before embarking on the journey home.

But is that enough for the non-British Airways loyalist ? If this was the full extent of the activity then I would be concerned but it would appear that this is only the beginning. Anchoring a campaign around the airline’s motto “To Fly. To Serve” allows a narrative based on customer service and experience to be expanded and indeed the web and TV premier were followed by newspaper and on-line advertising.

All of this suggests that British Airways is back in the game. There was further evidence, this time more commercial on Friday with news on two fronts;

(1) British Airways bought 6 daily take off and landing slots at LHR from Lufthansa – soon to be devoted to long haul.

(2) In a very welcome move in March 2012 they will change the LHR to Moscow route from short haul to long haul – introducing four classes rather than two. The overnight flights to Moscow are currently miserable.

It’s exciting to see a big brand back and it must be working as, after a long absence from our screens Virgin Atlantic seem to have been panicked into rerunning their “glitz and tits” commercial from last year.

Round one to Bartle Bogle Hegarty – BA’s creative agency.


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