Outdoor Campaign Uses the City's Iconic Landmarks

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Brand: British Airways
Brand Owner: British Airways
Category: Travel/Airlines
Region: Multi-local
Date: 2003-04
Media Agency: ZenithOptimedia
Other Agency: M&C Saatchi
Media Owner: JCDecaux, Metro International

From being the first brand to make a 1 million pound TV ad in the U.K. to its pioneering use of bank ATMs as a media channel, British Airways has never shied away from making big brand statements. The challenge for the airline in this campaign was to bring the concept of "London Is Closer" to the heart of the target group. The strategy was to stop the low-cost airlines in their tracks by highlighting the airline’s new pricing structure and re-establish British Airways as the natural choice for a trip to London.

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The media idea was simple but bold. It brought British Airways’ theme to life by re-creating famous parts of London across the continent. In Paris, a 27-meter-high red telephone box was erected. In Milan, innovative sonic posters -- devised by JCDecaux’s Innovate Team -- broadcast the dense chimes of Big Ben and the sound of the crowd at Wimbledon’s Centre Court. One poster even resounded with the monotone of a London pub landlord calling “time” at 11 p.m. Milan also saw its underground stations taken over by the Tube with re-branded ticket barriers. London taxis and buses drove through the streets of Cologne and Stockholm.

Nearly 100 different executions were run. Print involved five editions of Metro. The sales staff even arranged for distributors dressed as Beefeaters to hand out the papers to add to the British theme. Bookings from the five target cities increased and online bookings -- the most profitable channel for British Airways -- increased by more than 126%. Though the bulk of this happened in 2003, the themed and innovative outdoor activity continued well into 2004.

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Cream is a U.K.-based magazine owned by C Squared Communications aimed at highlighting the best in creative media worldwide. All media ideas are part of C Squared’s Creative Media Database.

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