British Airways' first post-Saatchi campaign positions the airline to compete with discount European rivals
[london] British Airways' first TV spot from Bartle Bogle Hegarty spearheads a campaign to persuade consumers that BA can compete with budget airlines on price, while maintaining a premium service. Last month BA introduced airfares within Europe with prices to rival successful no-frills airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair.
Abi Cromber, BA's senior manager, global marketing communications, said, "We need to re-address our perception in the leisure market and make people aware that great prices don't mean you have to compromise service. People assume we are more expensive than we are."
The U.K. spot called "Clouds"-the first since BA ended a 23-year relationship in October 2005 with Maurice and Charles Saatchi that started at Saatchi & Saatchi and ended at M&C Saatchi-subtly combines the low-price message with a "feel good" branding experience.
Set to John Denver's classic song, "Leaving on a Jet Plane," the spot shows a young girl sitting on a plane looking out the window. She sees dolphins formed from the clouds, leaping through the sky, which turns from sunny blue to sunset hues. A flight attendant hands her a toy dolphin. A voice-over says: "We believe your holiday should start before you arrive. ... You should expect to check in online. Choose where to sit. Fly to destinations worldwide. But with thousands of one-way fares from $50, you shouldn't expect to pay the earth."
The Saatchi brothers' famous "World's favorite airline" tagline has been dropped but not replaced since M&C Saatchi lost the $100 million account, despite rumors during the pitch that Bartle Bogle had come up with the line, "Upgrade to BA." For now, the ad simply ends "Book at ba.com."