'You can take Indians out of India... but not India out of Indians.' British Airways has rightly used this famous philosophy in its promotional video for visit Mumbai. The video, called 'A Ticket to Visit Mum', has got about six lakh views on YouTube in the last eight days, and will definitely remind you of your mother, whether you are in the US, UK or just a few kilometres away from home.
The five-minute video depicts the feelings of (Indian) parents who send their children abroad to pursue their dreams and in turn, lead lonely lives. It portrays how the mother (Alka Rani Dubey) misses her son (Ratnesh) who she has not seen since he left for the US when he was 17.
In the story narrated by Ratnesh, he says how he loves Mumbai (he calls it Bombay) for the very peculiar things of the city - the local trains, the sea, the gajras (garland), street-cricket and his home (read Mum), all captured in a montage. His mother, on the other hand, is told that British Airways (as a gesture) will be willing to fly her son's favourite meal to Ratnesh in New York. She prepares everything lovingly on camera, hoping that the food will remind Ratnesh of his mother.
In a twist to the tale, Ratnesh himself arrives home to sample the food and the mother is taken aback, all in tears. The voiceover says, "Sometimes even when you know what's going to happen, you cannot even imagine how that would be."
The video captures a shot of a bud opening to a flower and some on-shoot scenes with cameras all around the house. The film ends with a sentence on the screen which reads, "It's never been just about flying."
The company has released this as a promotional film for the deal which offers a New York-Mumbai to and fro trip at $1099, to be booked between August 6 and 7. It has specifically mentioned that the journey should start from New York.
Interestingly, the global campaign is wisely named 'Visit Mum', a pun on 'mum', which is a widely-used short form for Mumbai and an addressable term for mother. The film is being promoted on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Google+, along with mailers sent to partners and select customers.
(Viral Now is a section about videos that are catching people's fancy on social media).