BBH has produced what is understood to be its last work for the airline, a new safety video which also seeks to raise funds for its charity partner, Comic Relief.
The advertising and media group WPP (led by Sir Martin Sorrell) has secured the BA advertising account as well as work for other business units of BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group.
BBH won the advertising account for BA in late 2005, prizing it away from Charles and Maurice Saatchi whose relationship with BA dated back to the 1980s. The Saatchi brothers have been credited with transforming BA’s image from “Bloody Awful” to “The World’s Favourite Airline”.
At the time, such was the prestige attached to the BA advertising account, the move generated huge headlines. M&C Saatchi responded by taking out a double page advertisement in The Times stating is was “Now taking new airline bookings”. In 2007, it also remade “The Face” for the now defunct rival airline Silverjet.
It is fair to say it took a while for BBH to get into its stride. Much of this was due to BA itself. The airline encountered significant operational issues at its Heathrow hub, most notably the chaotic opening of Terminal 5 in 2008. Then followed the financial crisis which depressed BA’s traffic numbers and triggered industrial relations tensions as BA sought to restructure its business.
To 2017, this year has been something of an “annus horribilis” for BA. It has received a torrent of negative publicity for service cutbacks, notably the introduction of “Buy On Board” food and drink on short-haul flights. Furthermore, issues that had dogged the airline in the past, such as industrial relations tensions and operational issues at Heathrow, have returned to the fore. Frequent flyers have also become weary at service cut backs and a lack of innovation on board.
WPP will need to reinvograte the brand for the benefit of not only customers, but also its staff and opinion formers. However, as history has shown for BA, an agency can only produce its best work when its client has confidence in itself from putting its best foot forward.
Here’s our run through of BBH’s notable work for BA:
The release of an annual Christmas film from the world’s major airlines and airports is now a regular fixture in the calendar. In previous years some videos and PR stunts have attracted audiences in the hundreds of millions worldwide on social media.
Here is our collection of films released by the world’s airlines and airports for 2016.
As ever, these films are a timely reminder as to what air travel is really about: bring people together.
Paul has followed up his illustrated history of British Airways (published last year) with “Better By Design – Shaping The British Airways Brand”.
This is an illustrated guide to BA’s visual identity from its predecessor airlines BOAC and BEA to the BA of today. The book explores the evolution of advertising, aircraft interiors, on-board experience and crew uniform fashions, and how these have come together to shape not only the BA brand but the way we view commercial aviation.
The 160 page paperback title is published by Amberley Publishing which has a special pre-order offer (at the time of writing) of £13.79.
For an example of more recent work for BA, we suggest visiting the website of David Davis and Stuart Brandon who have worked on the most recent brand identity for the airline.
National and regional origins always played a part in the marketing and brand identity of legacy airlines. Whether it’s the understated professionalism of British Airways or the gracious Asian hospitality of Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines.
However, a balance has to be struck. If it’s forced too hard it can be overwhelming for international passengers. And for local passengers it can feel contrived, or plain cringe-worthy.
Air France has taken the concept of national carrier branding a step further with the strapline “France Is In The Air”.
Following a print campaign last year, Air France has launched a new TV advertisement which will be shown in France as well as Italy, Brazil, the United States, China and Japan:
Cathay Pacific has launched its first over-arching brand campaign since the airline undertook a very subtle rebranding exercise last year.
The campaign emphasises how Cathay Pacific’s Asian hospitality and attention to detail improves the travel experience for passengers, whether the frequent business traveller or occasional passenger, and makes “Life Well Travelled”.
In keeping with its stated brand philosophy “Softly spoken. Strongly felt.”, Cathay Pacific’s passengers take centre stage in the campaign.
Some time ago we took a look at British Airways’ most memorable advertisements, spanning no less than four decades.
Whilst much has changed in that time, a common theme was that the most effective airline marketing focuses not on the hardware and mechanics of aviation, but what airlines are fundamentally about: bringing people together.
Last year, British Airways released a special “A Ticket To Visit Mum” video featuring a surprise reunion between a mother and son in Mumbai. And it has today, on Valentines Day, released a further video “Go Further To Get Closer”.
We would defy even the most weary hard-nosed traveller to be moved by these videos!
Last weekend, British Airways launched its first major UK TV advertising campaign in over a year with a return to the theme of “To Fly. To Serve.”
The advertisement, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, follows a single customer journey from the airport to on board a Boeing 787 aircraft. The advertisement, which is certainly very slick, uses a “micro to macro” style of filming, featuring close up shots of the details of flying, panning to wide shots of the aircraft in motion.
Singapore Airlines has launched a new TV advertising campaign with three new advertisements under theme of “The Lengths We Go To”.
The advertisements seek to differentiate Singapore Airlines, which is facing very strong competition on price and route network from the Middle Eastern carriers, on the basis of its culture of service and attention to detail in product design. As is consistent with previous Singapore Airlines advertising, “Singapore Girl” features prominently.