Featuring The “Visit Soon” Campaign

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The Challenge:

How could British Airways encourage more people to fly to Australia? The longest flight offered by British Airways (clocking in at 23 hours) presented a unique challenge for the airline and their agency OgilvyOne London.

Campaign Objective:

Research suggested that the best audience to talk to were the over fifties, and retired people who had relatives or friends that had moved to live in Australia. And this particular audience would have both the money and time required for the voyage. However, analysis also showed that when planning to visit relatives living so far away, it usually required a life event (such as a marriage or a funeral) to prompt consideration of such a journey.

The goal of this campaign? Create a different kind of life event to motivate travel.

The Execution:

Obviously, the thought of reuniting with loved ones would serve as an additional selling point above the draw of the country itself. So the various strands of the task were to inspire an older audience to book a lengthy, expensive flight to visit relations for no particular reason, in a far off destination. British Airways needed to create an emotional trigger to get them on the plane, rather than waiting for such an event.

What came from this particular challenge was a short film based around someone who had moved to Australia and was missing their relatives. This required a very particular casting brief. The film told the story of 8-year-old Esme, whose parents had recently relocated to Sydney, who talked viewers through her wonderful new life, as she walks along the bay to school, explores the wilderness, goes swimming every day and enjoys all that her amazing new homeland has to offer. But we learn that the one thing missing from all this is her grandparents.

When Esme’s grandparents were invited to a cinema screening in London, what they didn’t realize was that the film being shown had been made just for them. And it was actually British Airways’ video of their reactions to seeing Esme talking about missing them so much that was to become the true piece of content. A bespoke landing page housed Esme’s film and the video of the grandparents’ reaction and enabled more Australian families to send a similar message to their relations through an online postcard service. They could upload a photo, personalize a message and let their UK relations know how much they were missed. Facilitated by the brand. But coming from them.

This was then amplified through a 360 degree paid, earned and owned strategy in both Australia and the UK from paid activity on Facebook, YouTube, Skype and Instagram to a full PR campaign including an influencer strategy to seed this great content. The properties owned by the Australian Tourist Board – a partner in the campaign – were also leveraged. It led to a follow up film and new cycle of activity when Esme and her grandparents were reunited (courtesy of British Airways) six months later.

The Stats:

The story of how Esme had surprised her grandparents in the cinema was picked up in both countries. The news coverage helped spread the story and resulted in the film being viewed over 1.3 million times. This resulted in an above target uplift for both driving active interest through Search as well as increased passenger journeys with an uplift in bookings of 47% for the duration of the campaign. And brought distant families together again. The numbers speak for themselves:

  • 11,940 social interactions
  • 1,420,320 social impressions
  • 16,130 social clicks to BA.com
  • 1,454,470 media impressions
  • 12,843 clicks from media to BA.com

The Results:

This was a truly content-driven campaign. And it was content that really tapped into emotions felt by families all over the world. This didn’t just provide an “aww” factor. It translated into a sizeable uplift in bookings and revenue for British Airways.

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