In the late 1980’s, British Airways proclaimed itself ‘The World’s Favorite Airline” on the basis that it carried more people on more flights, to more destinations.
Yet research was telling a rather different story. The snooty British attitude, together with market leadership (although under threat) was proving to be a recipe for arrogance and complacence. It was regarded, by the flying public, as very far from its “favorite” airline.
A far-sighted marketing director spotted the train-wreck ahead and (against the wishes of his board who merely saw market leadership) briefed us to produce a major “Anthemic” campaign to warm up and soften the image of the airline.
We questioned this, slightly. And we set about producing a short film to motivate the staff – and have them understand what it is that they were actually doing.
i.e. not simply transporting more people, but bringing twenty four million people together.
Once we had made that ‘leap’ and we showed them what twenty four million people actually looked like (and the emotional potency of bring two people together, then the enormity of bringing 24,000,000 people together) the staff began to better understand their role, the importance and value of that role. They started to take far greater pride and care in their jobs – and the attitude in the air changed almost immediately.
It started a resurgence in the airline and became a ‘touchstone’ for the brand and its values. Even today, more than twenty years after it was made, it still ranks #1 if you type ‘british airways’ into You Tube.
Director: High Hudson
Art Director: Graham Fink
Writer: Jeremy Clarke