Sunday 3 February 2019

This septic isle?

Thirty years ago, at the beginning of my planning career, I was working in the most famous agency in London on "the world's favourite airline." I don't think I need to name either.

Three decades on, that airline is celebrating its centenary (or at least the centenary of one of its predecessors). And, for the first time in six years, has created a brand campaign. Described as "a love letter to Britain" the ad shows scenes of BA employees getting ready for the centenary flight, as well as a cast of celebrities and everyday passengers travelling on the flight.

Nice as it is, I find it rather underwhelming. It's meant to show the creativity and pioneering spirit of Britain but there's nothing creative or pioneering about this ad. It's derivative of the Nike "Londoner" ad as well as any number of films that were put together for the 2012 Olympics (I expect Britain will continue to milk that one for ever, rather like the Battle of Britain or the 1966 World Cup). And where is the famous British humour? A no-show, apart from a weak joke about tea. What exactly is the idea behind this ad? It comes over rather like a safety video without the safety bits.

It's not clear whether this is an ad for Britain in general, or for the carrier. Is it meant to make people feel good about British Airways, or Britain?

I know I'd feel better about Britain if I had a clearer sign that despite all the Brexit crap, the spirit of innovation and creativity is alive and not just well, but kicking.

Like a commercial that will still be remembered in thirty years' time.

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