Employees race to the runway in British Airways ad marking travel's comeback

Spot from Ogilvy highlights airline and airport crew

Published On
May 07, 2021

Editor's Pick

As the U.K. gears up for the return of travel after the pandemic, British Airways is out with its first brand campaign since 2019, a spot that shows its employees eagerly returning to their jobs. 

It features real-life BA staff, starting with a female 777 captain (Helen Wetton) who wakes up sleepily to her alarm and murmurs, "Good morning, this is your captain speaking."

We then see a range of different employees eagerly heading back to their roles, from pilots to cabin crew to baggage handlers, at one point mistaken for a bunch of aircraft by an air traffic controller as they head for the runway. And, although employees are the stars, whether dancing across an empty terminal floor or revving up to race luggage trucks, the film ends with a message to customers: "We all have something that makes us fly. For us, it's you."

The 60-second ad, which breaks on U.K. primetime TV this weekend, is set to the familiar strains of "Flower Duet" from Delibes’ opera "Lakme," which first featured in British Airways’ advertising over 40 years ago and is used as the airline’s boarding music. It was created by WPP's Team Horizon, comprised of teams from Ogilvy, Wavemaker and Hogarth. Andy McLeod at Rattling Stick directed.

"There is a sense of huge anticipation from colleagues across the airline who are preparing to return to work after a very difficult year," said British Airways’ Chairman and CEO Sean Doyle in a statement: “The story illustrates the pride that our people tell me they’re feeling at the thought of seeing our planes in the sky once again and having the opportunity to welcome and serve our customers, to reunite them with their friends and relatives. The excitement is palpable.”

"The whole platform is a celebration of that passion as we see British Airways colleagues getting back to doing what they do best and the thing they love so much; looking after people," added Jules Chalkley, Ogilvy chief executive creative director. “It also brings a surge of excitement and sense of possibility on the cusp of a hugely important time for us all."


May 07, 2021
Client :
British Airways
Agency :
Director of Brand & Customer Experience :
Tom Stevens
Head of Brand & Marketing :
Hamish McVey
Global Campaigns & Content Manager :
Kathryn Marriott
Global Communications Lead Manager :
Shivani Arora
Campaign Manager :
Beyza Aydin
Global Content Manager :
Daniel Taylor
WPP Team Horizon comprised :
Chief Creative Officer :
Andre Dede Laurentino
Chief Executive Creative Director :
Jules Chalkley
Deputy Executive Creative Director :
Sam Cartmell
Senior Creative :
Tom Elliott-Mell
Senior Creative :
Jack Patrick
Creative :
Lily James
Creative :
Naomi Nicholl
WPP Horizon Lead :
Craig Burleigh
Managing Partner :
Josh Harris
Business Director :
Kerry Capps
Account Director :
Julia Pensabene
Senior Account Manager :
Benaisha Mehta
Executive :
Ellie Tytler
Strategy Partner :
Kris Flemington
Strategy Director :
Bianca Novaes
Group Programme Director :
Charles Frowen
Project Director :
Lily Greenwood
Design ECD :
Dave Towers
Senior Designer :
Amy Gordon
Design :
Dom Flaherty
Head of Moving Image :
James Brook-Partridge
Executive Producer :
Sally Miller
Production Assistant :
Kay Riley
General Manager :
Grashyna Jurkiewicz
Business Director :
Sam Fielder
Account Director :
Megan Raisbeck
Account Manager :
Anna Driscoll
Strategy Director :
Robert Pryor
Precision Partner :
Katy Bonheim
Precision Director Programmatic :
Stav Physicos
Precision Director Programmatic :
Terez Berry
Precision Executive Programmatic :
Adam Hone
Precision Director Social :
Raluca Mainea
Mead Lead AV :
Chris Bell
Media Director AV :
Thomas Haynes
Head of Investment :
James Rutherford
Kinetic Account Manager :
Ellie Gray
Head of Kinetic :
James Byard
Production Company :
Rattling Stick
Director :
Andy McLeod
Executive Producer :
Stuart Bentham
Production Manager :
Andrea Harvey
Director of Photography :
Stephen Keith Roach
Editor :
Eve Ashwell
Editor :
The Assembly Rooms
Music :
The Flower Duet
Composer :
James Radford
Composer :
Leo Delibes
Music Arranged By :
James Radford
Music Company :
Radford Music
Music Supervisor :
James Radford
Sound Engineer :
Parv Thind
Sound Producer :
Rebecca Boswell
Post Production :
Producer :
Charlotte Shearsmith
VFX Supervisor :
Jim Allen
Colorist :
George G
Colorist :
Black Kite Studios

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