‘Reasons to travel’ – new British Airways campaign and other top creative ads of the week

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In 1989, British Airways released a campaign considered to be a classic in advertising. Back when special effects were not as advanced as they are today, it brought alive the idea of the brand bringing people together. In 2014, technology was used cleverly to make it appear as if a small boy ‘looked up’ every time a British Airways flight flew over a billboard in Piccadilly Circus. Of course there have several memorable tactical ads too from the brand over the years. A new ad campaign from British Airways is as clutter-breaking as the above too and is part of my weekly compilation of creative ads.

British Airways: reasons to fly

Over the years, ‘Business or Leisure?’ is the common question asked when seeking the reason for someone to fly. Even at the immigration desk one is asked for the reason to visit a country. A new mega, multi-channel campaign from British Airways cleverly uses that as a platform to create charming ads which provide various ‘reasons’ for travel. Wry humour is the hallmark of these ads and many of them bring a smile – especially the outdoor ads. Some lines work better than the others but overall the sheer variety of executions appeals to all of us.

Here’s a collection of outdoor and print ads from the campaign:

I particularly liked this print execution as it made clever use of the space while in keeping in line with the campaign theme.

Agency: Uncommon

If I were to quibble, it would be about the link to the new positioning of ‘A British original’ to the campaign idea. The media release about the campaign says ‘Both Britain as a nation and British Airways as a brand have a deep history of originality. From scheduling the first commercial service to Little Simz; originality drives us forward.  It’s at the core of our pioneering spirit. A British Original’ champions people, not planes. We’ve started by shining a light on all the original reasons we fly.’ The creative and media teams have worked together to produce hundreds of creative units and the execution does demonstrate originality in thinking. I guess the platform will see newer executions over time, building on the the ‘A British Original’t theme. Another winner from Uncommon Studio.

Uber: pick your ride

The job of advertising is to dramatise the benefit of a product’s feature – and sometimes distinguishing between the two can be difficult. Users of Uber are likely to be aware of the tiers in the choice of vehicle – XL for a large group of people, Go for budget rides in smaller cars and so on. A new set of ads have a funny take on the reasons-why one would choose such tiers based on the protagonists ‘stage in life’ or mood.

The print ads reminded me of the 2010 campaign from Bayer for their Aspirin variants.

Agency: Johannes Leonardo

Gillette: mixed reality

Some say brands like Gillette create marketing magic out of ‘not-so-substantive’ product features. Every major product upgrade is about adding number of blades or experimenting with materials with which the product is made of. The brand commands a premium and has a a huge fan following. I would say advertising and on-ground (literally in the case) activation add to the halo around the brand.

TK Maxx: nailed it

Gifting plays a big role in Christmas activity. Several Christmas-themed campaigns have centred around gifting – which makes it an ideal theme for multiple-brand departmental stores. A new ad from TK Maxx dramatises an almost generic promise ‘Wow value, without compromising on quality’ through some quirky, colourful song & dance routine. I found it differentiated from the route of syrupy ‘tugging at the heartstrings’ approach which is common during this season.

Agency: Wieden+Kennedy London

Kroger: the magical cookbook

Speaking of syrupy (but effective) ads here’s the latest from Kroger, a retail brand. We’ve seen many such Pixar-production inspired animation films for Christmas. Some work their magic through a combination of a simple, universally-appealing theme, great animation and an apt song – Kroger scores in all.

Agency: DDB New York

Southern Cross Health: Sweet Caroline

In the corporate world, it is understood that having a good working relationship with one’s team is important. An ad for Southern Cross hospital in New Zealand drives home this point while avoiding the typical ‘hospital procedure’ and ‘caring doctors & nurses’ imagery by telling a small story of Caroline and what her co-workers do to drive home the message ‘when you’re with the right people, it shows‘. Loved it.

Agency: TBWA. Click on the image above to watch the ad.

Spinny Telecom, New Zealand: radio – outdoor integration

In a brilliant piece of creative thinking, Spinny Telecom in New Zealand placed out-of-home ads which had radio scripts printed on them. These ‘ads’ were available on eye-level billboards, mobile screens, print, coffee cups and more. Readers had to call in to a number and read out the text. Such calls would then double up as radio spots. The intent? The brand wanted to convey that they save money in any which way they can and then pass on the savings to the consumers.

I thought it was a brilliant from angles – strategy, creative idea and media usage. Loved it.

Agency: Colenso BBDO

Trainline: ‘Came by Train’ movement

I thought this new ‘ad campaign’ from Trainline is a good example of new media (though it doesn’t rely on digital too much) as it released a music video and a song by British artist Craig David extolling the virtues of train travel. The pitch is for the generic benefits of train travel and would definitely appeal to the demographic disturbed by the heavy cost paid by the environment from other modes of travel.

There’s a microsite which outlines the benefits and has some well-crafted lines which have also been used on billboards.

Agency: Mother

Walmart: all the ways we holiday

While this festive ad in the US ticks all the right boxes – montage of diverse customers, happy visuals, ‘Chirstmassy scenes’ and so on, it was interesting to see Diwali get a mention and screen time as part of such festivals.

Wish: real smiles

In UK, several brands have begun their Christmas campaigns in October – which hasn’t gone well with social media users. Nevertheless, I spotted an ad with a real insight pertaining to Christmas gifts – even if the gift is really not appreciated many put on a fake smile to ‘accept’ the gift. A visual hook of a ‘rotating smile’ cues the transformation possible by choosing what one wants on the platform.

SKY: customer survey

How do you announce the results of a ranking in a customer survey with some intrigue and humour built in? This is how.

Which one was your favourite? Do comment in.

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