British Airways' latest long-format digital film is about the bond that develops between an elderly passenger and a young flight attendant. The campaign is titled 'Fuelled By Love'. A look at the effort.
Indians love emotions. The mushier, the better. Working on these lines, airline brand British Airways, which is no stranger to emotion-laden campaigns, has released its new campaign titled Fuelled by Love.
The campaign showcases a real-life experience of a British Airways' cabin crew who garners a once-in-a-lifetime experience in India during her first flight to India. The film revolves around the subject that while service is driven by purpose and efficiency, true care is only fuelled by love.
This is not the first time the company has taken this particular route of emotional connect for its advertisements. In the past, similar campaigns dwelling on this particular concept such as A Ticket to Visit Mum, Go Further To Get Closer, and The Welcome of Home were launched by British Airways.
To improve its customer experience, the company has invested more than £5 billion in its products and services. Customers have received services in the form of new aircrafts, new world traveller economy and world traveller plus premium economy cabins, a revamped First cabin, and better lounges around British Airways' network.
Funds have also been allocated to improve catering and new technologies to make the travel experience more comfortable for customers on the ground and in the air.
Currently, British Airways' network connects more than 200 cities in 75 countries. In India, it currently operates 49 flights a week from Heathrow to New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
And, From October 25, 2015, Delhi customers have been the first ones globally to experience the brand new Boeing 787-9 and the new First cabin.
Simple, yet brilliant
Kartik Iyer, CEO, Happy Creative Services, feels that the campaign is simple, yet brilliant. "It shows the coming together of two cultures. It is a nice mix of simple acts of goodness, cultural nuances and subtle display of emotions, which made me view the entire six minute-long film. In a world full of emotional ads, this one stands out for its simplicity in a world of overwhelming clutter and noise. The casting of the grand-mother is fantastic. The director's touches are charming," he says.
"On another note, one cannot evaluate a piece of creative on one word like 'emotion' or 'celebrity' or 'humour'. It is the sum total of all the parts in the right measures that creates magic. And, one can only say if that magic was felt in the end. In that lies its uniqueness," he further adds.
According to Senthil Kumar, chief creative officer, J Walter Thompson India, the video is good, but not great. He says that a comment by Raj Karmakar right below the video on youTube was what he liked better than the video itself. "'I am gonna sue British Airways for making me cry,' says the comment. But, the good thing about this ad is it does not seem fake. Strangely, it seems and sounds like the true story that has inspired it, and will appeal to every Indian who misses his/her grandmother's cooking," says Kumar.
He feels the realism and simple story-telling makes the execution believable and will help build empathy. "In the recent spate of long-format content aiming to capture the online audience, this one is just another story that's striking the emotional chord and is well told. However, I am missing the mind blowing, big flight path-breaking idea here for British Airways or is that just me?" he asks.
Commenting on the length of the video, Kumar says, "This is not old school advertising, but branded content. And, that's what the world of communication is moving towards. Advertising has become only a portion of the brand's content that is put out into the world to reach out to different audiences with content that specifically resides in their mobile, social and digital eco systems. So, there is nothing called length if the content is engaging and gripping enough."
But, Kumar agrees that if you feel its long, then somewhere along the way the content has started boring you and the danger of audiences dropping off before watching the full story looms large.
Talking about the target audience, Kumar says, "I'm sure this is the first in a series of films, and hopefully, this issue of segmented communication to a specific audience will be sorted. The potential does exist for many stories to be told in the travel companion, travelogue, and bank of travel stories kind of space.
Prathap Suthan, managing partner and chief creative officer, Bang in the Middle, says that although the film is lengthy, the content makes up for the length. He says, "Perhaps, it could have been trimmed a bit. But, length really isn't a problem, when the content holds. In this case, the syrupy story keeps your mind occupied. Fat books work. Long films work. Car races work. Test cricket works."
Suthan considers the film to be good in terms of craft, casting, detailing, and other dimensions. And, a story well-told. "More importantly, it showcases the airline as a far friendlier brand towards Indians in the context of the cold treatment that we often get to read about," he adds.
Sonal Narain, chief strategy officer, Cheil India, feels the ad is beautifully executed, with great casting and acting. She likes it more than the previous ones, for its human and intimate touch. She says, "While emotional connect is a similar space, this idea feels a lot more intimate and maybe real because it's given the brand a human face as the air hostess. The idea and story of getting to know a place through connecting with its people is a lot more nuanced, modest and believable than the previous version, which was a bit 'British Airways helps Indians do 'Indian things' in its tone."
Commenting on the fate of the campaign, Narain feels, "It has got all the ingredients for being a success, but it will depend on whether the product can live up to the promise. In general, Indians are not treated as well by many other airlines."