“Simple, smart, with deep, deep resonance, Uncommon Creative Studios’ first British Airways campaign took flight, after years of turbulence for ‘A British original’ brand. I’m a sucker for witty, personable copy, and boy did Uncommon deliver. For all the chat of staycations, after years of disrupted travel, Uncommon does a great job of reminding us how we Brits love our holibobs.”
Not our words you understand, not even BA’s or Uncommon Creative Studios’, but Campaign magazine’s gushing “Pick of the Week”, following the launch of the airline’s out of home campaign in December.
On the Decision Marketing Adometer, we estimate the poster executions would have probably got about 7 out of 10. Decent enough, but far too “adland trying to be clever” and not very onbrand for British Airways.
Still, as we settled down over the festive period to check out ITV’s new streaming service, ITVX, up popped a slew of new BA Holidays’ TV ads, or as the official line would have it: “British Airways Holidays’ Hilarious Spots Put an End to Holiday Working.”
You see, “British Airways Holidays is urging Brits to take their holidays seriously, with the launch of a new campaign created by Uncommon. Despite the fact that not taking a holiday is proven to literally kill us sooner, Britain fails to take holidays seriously. In fact, a new survey reveals that 50% of UK working adults do not take their full annual leave allocation”.
It goes on to reveal 48% of working Brits have checked their work emails while away, “when science suggests that not taking time off can shorten your life expectancy” and cites a 40-year study by the European Society of Cardiology that shows taking a holiday could help people live longer. The survey also revealed that nearly 79% of those asked agreed that taking a break is good for their mental health”. (No shit Sherlock.)
BA and Unlimited’s answer to it all is the “Take Your Holiday Seriously” activity, running on TV, in cinemas and across social and featuring a woman talking to the camera about the importance of taking a holiday.
The main film “Phone call” shows her sitting at a bar on holiday while a man is working next to her. She tells the viewer that she is “livid” that almost half of Brits said they had worked on holiday “when science says not taking time off could literally kill us sooner”.
As she continues to talk about the joys of British Airways Holidays she is interrupted by her own phone ringing and says it is her office calling. She answers the phone and shouts: “No.”
She then drops it into a jug of water and snatches the phone from the man sitting next to her, again shouting “No” down the phone and throwing it into the water as well.
The two other films take a similar approach. At the end of “Lobster” there is a lobster on her table tapping on a keyboard and in “Yoga” a man who is supposed to be practising yoga is instead working.
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?
Now maybe, just maybe, we find these ads HIGHLY IRRITATING because they are running during EVERY SODDING AD BREAK on EVERYTHING we have streamed on ITVX over the past fortnight.
Then again, maybe, just maybe, we find these ads HIGHLY IRRITATING because the woman is possibly the most annoying person to ever appear in an ad, let alone be near when you are on holiday. It’s not funny; it’s not even clever and if she’s what the BA Holidays brand represents, we’d rather go with EasyJet Holidays, despite their scores of hidden extras.
In fact, we reckon even Campaign magazine will be hard pushed to call this nonsense “simple, smart, with deep, deep resonance”… but don’t bet against it.
Decision Marketing Adometer: A “stuck on the runway” 6 out of 10