M&C Saatchi: Fly in the Know British Airways

CHICAGO After launching its first image campaign in four years this summer, British Airways will move on with ads aimed at leisure travelers.

TV, print and online ads via M&C Saatchi in New York highlight an authentic London experience that only a local like British Airways can provide.

Each of three TV spots features a clueless American anchorman, purportedly filming a travel piece in and around London. In one ad, the anchor tells the camera that he is standing next to Big Ben—not the clock, but a tall, burly Brit. When the real Big Ben chimes, the newsman exclaims, “That clock is going to be a problem.”

In other spots, he mistakes the game of cricket for the insect of the same name, and refers to a regiment of passing Beefeaters as “clowns.” The moral of the story, of course, is the campaign’s tagline, “Go with those who know.”

Campaign spending is undisclosed. British Airways spent about $25 million on ads in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

Ads bowed yesterday during the The Amazing Race, and will also run during Survivor and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. A single print ad will run in issues of USA Today, The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post.

Fall initiatives will be weighted with product messages, particularly for the British Airways’ Sleeper Service, which offers gourmet preflight meals, minimum galley-cart movement and announcements so passengers can sleep soundly during their trans-Atlantic overnight flights, and breakfast in bed.

—Brandweek staff report