A few notes on British Airways: Fuelled by Love

British Airways has a fantastic piece of advertising up – a 5 minute ad movie titled “Fuelled by Love.”

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFb01yTR9bA%5B/embedyt%5D

A few notes as I reflected on it –

1. British Airways had a bit of a public goof a few months ago when India’s cricket icon, Sachin Tendulkar, took to Twitter to express his annoyance at recent service received by BA. The customer service person managing Twitter by responding to Sachin’s tweet and asking for his full name. That enraged his fan base (~9M followers at that time). I am not quite sure if this ad series is in response to that but I’m sure it contributed to it.

2. While this is undoubted a fairly long ad at 5 minutes, it is a compelling watch. To the Director’s credit, it has all the aspects of a great 5 minute watch – many emotions, good acting and a sweet story. It also helps that it starts with “Inspired by a true story” – as human beings, we are suckers for that line.

3. The biggest reason I termed it fantastic is because the BA Advertising team demonstrated mastery over many small details. The BA brand is mentioned just the right number of times without it feeling too much – it, of course, helps that the Air Hostess is in BA colors. Love is a great theme because it isn’t something many people associate with flying. But, they layered all too familiar emotions of sadness and uncertainty in the story that we can all relate to. By bringing this all together nicely, they almost managed to personify what BA stands for. And, that’s powerful.

4. “Loving India back since 1924” is the tag line at the end. This is clever use of the colonial relationship. Hat tip to whoever thought of that.

5. I had tears in my eyes at the end of the ad.

6. And, I’m glad they kept the movie grounded in reality – you see, that sort of a bond between an air steward and a passenger is near impossible in Economy class. :-)

Well played, British Airways.