British Airways is exploring the reasons we fly, emotional as well as practical, in a multi-platform, multi-execution marketing campaign created by new agency Uncommon.
The campaign, taglined "A British Original," has at its core the common question travelers fill out on landing forms when they travel: what is the purpose of your visit. Usually the answer is business or leisure. But the creative in these ads explores a third, more intangible option; one which is different every time. For example: "Remission," or "Quiet Quitting." "Because this year's been a lot," or "I've had a ring in my pocket for long enough."
This idea is incorporated into over 500 unique print, digital and outdoor executions, with the copy shown on a stripped back white background as a "tick box" questionnaire. Digital outdoor ads will be adapted to reflect current weather, location and also what's happening in the news.
The campaign also includes 32 different 20 second films exploring some of these reasons, in storytelling that's both playful and emotional. For example, your trip might be because you want to have a romance with a French boy. Or to get over a breakup with your girlfriends. Or to "reset" a marriage. All are running over the course of a month, in primetime UK TV programming.
The campaign will appear across TV, video on demand, cinema, radio, print, display, social and out of home, including major outdoor sites including London's Piccadilly Lights and Heathrow airport.
Its launch comes one year after Uncommon was appointed to handle British Airways following a high profile pitch; previously the airline had worked with WPP since 2017. However, it comes at a challenging time follows months of turmoil for the airline, and negative PR following the cancelation of thousands of flights this summer together with allegations about its failure to prepare for post-Covid demand.
Amid this difficult climate, the aim of the campaign is to show that British Airways recognizes that all of its customers are individuals.
“We really wanted this campaign to celebrate the originality of our customers and our people,” said Hamish McVey, head of brands and marketing at British Airways, in a statement. “Every time a customer boards a plane, they are doing so for a unique reason, and we know that those journeys are so important. We are working hard on making positive changes across our airline and this brand campaign allows us to showcase our motivation, which is our customers and our people.”
"We wanted to celebrate British originality at a time when we’ve never needed to rediscover it more,” added Lucy Jameson, Co-founder at Uncommon Creative Studio. "‘A British Original’ champions people, not planes. We’ve started by shining a light on all the original reasons we fly — both for customers and British Airways’ people — but this is just the beginning. We hope that, going forward, each and every interaction with the brand feels as original as each and every one of the hundreds of original executions we’ve produced for the launch.”