Today, British Airways broadcast on its social networking sites, “A Big British Flashmob” to promote their new Moscow route. BA partnered with VisitBritain to promote the new flights, flown on their 747. This is cleverly timed, due to competition from low cost carrier easyJet, who have also won the rights to the route. The video, shot in a shopping centre in Moscow shows various British characters entering a giant Union flag suitcase. Whilst the premise itself is great, you can’t but help but feel a little deflated by the execution. Compared to some of the other viral videos featuring BA, such as mobile phone company T-Mobile’s TV commercials that were shot in BA’s Terminal at Heathrow, this doesn’t have the impact, or the buzz about it.
The shopping centre, is pretty much empty, and the actors are weak visual interpretations of the characters, sadly “James bond” seems more interested in having his moment, than playing the part and Mary Poppins actually looks like she is kidnapping a child.
Whilst obviously only a viral video, and these in turn aren’t meant to be fully polished, after producing such excellent campaigns as ‘To Fly. To Serve” such an execution actually erodes the brand strength built by the previous couple of years of brand execution. In hindsight, it’s easy to suggest options, such as shooting outside the Kremlin, or the Red Square, using more iconic look-a-likes, or just not professionally filming the event, and instead relying on observers posting the proceedings of the event on social media to provide it with a more authentic and honest tone.
The reason to promote the route is clear, placing a daily 747-400 on the short-haul route with a heavy business class and first class cabin that really requires filling up to make the route profitable, as the economy cabin will mainly be filled with passengers looking for the cheapest ticket, and with easyJet competing for the passengers, this will always be a tough market to make profitable.