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    « We play our games and the sky goes on | Main | Crisis, what crisis? »


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    Simon Riley

    I wondered of someone at BA decided they had to do a 'heritage' ad because retro is in and other brands have been doing throw-back ads or even replaying their old ones from the 70s. We all love looking at 40s and 50s technology etc (see the fantastic Retronaut site for great pics of this kind of stuff). I can see how it all seemed to make sense to BA to go this route. Problem is, it actually made me think how precarious and human (therefore error-prone) the technology of flying is and made me associate BA with the old days of high risk flying - flying by the seat of your pants - not the high tech, safer, passenger-focussed flying experience of today (at least in theory!) with checks and counter-checks and reserve engine after reserve engine. Keeping it real is not always what airline passengers want - we want to block out most of the reality of what we're doing by going up in the sky and putting our lives in someone else's hands - no matter how dashing and admirable.
    But we're in an economic slump, things are a bit grim and harking back to more successful times does kind of fit with the public mood. But rather than playing to a rather regressive nostalgia impulse, I'd like to see successful British brands like BA tell me about how they are doing well now. Could there be a market in selling us a bit of hope for the future now and could brands like BA be well-placed to own that message?


    Simon, many thanks for your thoughtful comment and sorry for delay in response. I agree with you, their approach is hardly 'forward-looking', came across instead as a rather expensive piece of internal PR. And I agree they have rather got the pyschology a bit wrong, where Virgin gets it right more often than not (funny story that they actually featured a Virgin plane in the ad by mistake, having airbrushed out its branding ...)

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