Adwatch (July 13): Top 20 recall - Emirates warms the inner plane-spotter

Airline's ad brings out the viewer's inner plane-spotter but endline doesn't quite work.

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I'm informed that this is the first time that Emirates has made it into the prestigious Adwatch table, with what appears to be one of its biggest TV campaigns to date.

It has been a worthwhile investment: Emirates and its ad agency, Strawberry Frog, have created a spectacular special-build that comes together gracefully to form an A380 aeroplane on a runway.

I first saw the ad a couple of weekends ago, before knowing I would write this review, so had the benefit of forming my first view from a punter's perspective - and I liked it immediately. So when I had to choose what to review from this week's Adwatch table, it leapt out at me.

Like many men my age, who grew up bodging together Airfix kits, and having an enduring, James May-like fascination for mega-engineering, the seamless construction in 20 seconds of the behemoth A380, as the steward walks one of the three huge decks, was visually impressive. So top marks to the production and VFX companies (Czar and Nozon in Belgium).

I also enjoyed the use of the refrain from Strauss' Blue Danube Waltz in a musical homage to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and its epic ballet-like journey.

Perhaps one could quibble over the slightly cheesy 'aren't men useless' interplay between the cabin crew at the end, but I won't.

The message that thousands of European workers are building the biggest fleet of the 'world's most astonishing planes' for Emirates is a classic corporate image-building endeavour, and UK plc gets a good slice of this, too, with substantial parts of the A380 made here.

The end title reads 'A friend of Europe', which jars a little with me, as I didn't for a minute think that Dubai would be anything but a friend, but I get the point about the high-tech jobs.

So did it persuade me to consider flying Emirates? As our planning department reminds us at every opportunity, choices are 95% emotional, and my inner aviation nerd is straining to get on an A380 at the next opportunity.

The 5% rational leftover also likes the message about European jobs, but I would have liked this more had there been a UK version telling us about the jobs here, as aviation is one of the bright spots in our manufacturing economy and deserves to be celebrated.

However, the plane-spotter in me still feels a very warm glow, despite these doubts. So, in the airline advertising stakes, Emirates makes a worthy TV debut, but Virgin Atlantic remains untroubled at 40,000 feet. For me, that's the campaign that sets the standard in the market.

Adwatch (July 13): Top 20 recall
Latest Jul-06 Brand Agency/TV Buyer Recall
rank       %
1 (–) Microsoft Windows 7  Crispin Porter & Bogusky/UM London 48
2 -2 Sky  WCRS/MediaCom 45
3 (–) Pizza Hut  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/Starcom 43
4 -6 National Lottery EuroMillions  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/OMD UK 40
5 (–) Emirates  Strawberry Frog/Starcom MediaVest 39
6 (–) More Th>n  SFW/Starcom MediaVest 37
7 (–) Yorkshire Tea  Beattie McGuinness Bungay/MediaCom North 36
8= (–) Tena  DLKW Lowe/Carat 34
8= -1 O2  VCCP/ZenithOptimedia 34
10 (–) BT  Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO/Maxus 32
11 (–) DFS  Uber/MediaCom 31
12 (–) Barclays  Bartle Bogle Hegarty/Walker Media 30
13 (–) HSBC  JWT London/Mindshare 29
14= (–) Boots Opticians  Mother/OMD UK 27
14= (–) Asda  Saatchi & Saatchi/Carat 27
14= (–) Vauxhall  McCann Erickson/Carat 27
17= (–) Go-Cat  DDB UK/ZenithOptimedia 26
17= (–) Dettol No-Touch  Euro RSCG/ZenithOptimedia 26
19 (–) L'Oreal Excellence Crème  McCann Erickson/ZenithOptimedia 25
20 (–) KFC  Bartle Bogle Hegarty/Walker Media 24

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