British Airways’ Award-winning Campaign Takes Flight

British Airways

Everywhere We Go


Last year British Airways took home a Cannes Lion for its “A British Original” campaign, which took a standard bureaucratic question – “what is the purpose of your visit?” – and flipped it by looking at the real, very individual and human purposes each BA traveller brings with them on their journeys.

That ad was the start of a new, customer-focused positioning for the airline, which continues putting the spotlight on the human element of the journeys it enables. This time, though, the point isn’t the purpose of the flight, but the outcomes and the memories each journey can leave behind.

The frame for this is one a number of brands have used over the last few years – usually with some success, as it’s a proven emotional way to tell a story. The ad tells the story of a woman’s life from childhood to adulthood in a series of moments, each representing a different journey she takes. What BA have done is put a new twist on this idea – the life story isn’t looking back, it’s imagining a life to come full of wonder and adventure, in the form of the dreams of a baby taking her first plane journey.

This way of framing the idea has a major visual advantage – it means the ad can keep cycling back to shots of an adorable baby, keeping emotional response high and positive. It makes for a less linear ad, but BA and agency Uncommon Creative Studio are aiming for a very dreamy feel to the commercial, so the lack of a central narrative doesn’t stop the ad making an impact.

The combination of the gurgling, happy baby, the soft focus film of future adventures, and an atmospheric background soundtrack from musician Saint Saviour add up to an ad with a very distinctive aesthetic that captures some of the magic of travel without the distractions of heavy voiceovers or being too specific about destinations.

Audiences responded very enthusiastically to the spot, with a 4.3-Star score showing strong brand-building potential. With strong branding, meanwhile, and a baby boosting the intensity of emotional response, the ad performed Exceptionally well on both short-term Spike rating and on Brand Fluency.

Earning industry awards is praiseworthy, but the test of a great campaign is whether it takes flight in the eyes, hearts and minds of the general public. “Baby’s First Flight” shows that BA’s “A British Original” positioning has that potential.

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