British Airways is capitalizing on the slow creep of culinary obsession with a new ad campaign called "Height Cuisine" from BBH New York focused on the quality of its in-flight food. In an age when many airlines have cut back on their menus (did you want the peanuts or the potato chips?), this is an approach that evokes the days when flying was more of a luxury ordeal, and positions the brand as tasteful and sophisticated.
The overarching theme: Attention to detail, which the videos illustrate, for example, by comparing BA's process for selecting the cheeses it serves to the carrier's process for maintaining its engines. The tie-in: The impairing effects that the low air pressure and humidity in tin-can cabins can apparently have on your taste buds. So, as the camera does a slow zoom on what appears to be a jet turbine carved from a wheel of parmesan, the voiceover explains the odd analogy: "The engine of a 747 performs impeccably at altitude. Unfortunately, your palate does not. It takes precision to bring flavor to life at 30,000 feet. Which is why we test the cheese we serve as meticulously as we test our engines."
Other executions from the campaign focus on the quest for the perfect airline bread and balanced wines. Occasionally, they fall into the trap of overdramatizing the mundane—the holy grail of loaves is baked in "near secrecy," according to one print ad. But overall, they bring to life procedural details that might otherwise seem banal. As for whether the food really does taste good, we can't say—but the bar isn't very high.
Client: British Airways
Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York
Chief Creative Officer: John Patroulis
Creative Director: Jeff Johnson
Copywriter: Brian Naujelis
Art Director: Christopher Araujo
Producer: Travis Quinn
Account Director: Lydia Wagner
Account Manager: Connor Keeshan
Strategist: Megha Parikh
Photographer/Director: Marcus Gaab
Production Design: Ian Savage
Food Styling: Victoria Granof
Production Company: AFG Management
Print Producer: Eric Peduto
Editor: Mark Block
Editorial Company: Build
Editorial Producer: Ruhiya Nuruddin
Music/Sound Design: Robot Repair
Audio Engineer: Rob Fielack/Plush
Colorist: Tim Masick/CO3