BA Seeks to ‘Exceed Expectations’

NEW YORK In an online campaign launching next week, British Airways seeks to lure business-class travelers by aligning ad messages with companies producing stellar financial results.

BA digital shop has struck deals with news sites to sponsor special sections highlighting firms that “exceed expectations.” The creative uses charts and graphs to illustrate BA’s superior service compared to other airlines as part of its “Expectations guaranteed” campaign.

“It is tapping into the business traveler mind-set,” said Douglas Kunreuther, BA account director at, part of the Omnicom Group. “We’re trying to associate ourselves with exceeding expectations.”

Spending on the campaign was not disclosed. A print effort, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, began last week.

In an execution slated to run on Dow Jones’, a small ad on the left side of the page expands to take over the page and direct users to a chart highlighting stocks that performed well that day. Reuters is creating a “virtual brand channel” that will aggregate wire-service stories on companies that are firing on all cylinders. The special section will carry BA banner ads and branding.

The online campaign, which runs through the end of November, comes as airlines head into the critical fourth quarter, when many are scrambling to make their year-end financial goals by attracting more business travelers, the most lucrative segment of the market.

Unlike some competitors, BA has chosen not to offer inducements like bonus air miles. Instead, last week it began an “expectations guarantee” that offers a free upgrade to first class or 25,000 air miles if a business-class traveler is unsatisfied with the experience on the airline.

Executions in the online campaign highlight some of the amenities offered by
BA to business travelers using its Club World business class section, which
includes a fold-out bed and in-flight kitchen. One ad shows a red line on a
graph morphing into such a bed and kitchen.

Business and financial sites, like,, and, are included in the media plan. is also executing a mobile component through Enpocket, behavioral targeting via networks Tacoda and Revenue Science and RSS feed placements.