BA's marketing head Abigail Comber on new 'To fly. To serve.' campaign

British Airways (BA) will tonight air a new ad championing its staff and the quality of the brand, under an expanded strapline of "To fly. To serve. Today. Tomorrow."

The ad will go live during the England vs Moldova World Cup qualifier on ITV today, with a preview of the ad available on the brand’s Facebook page.

The ad, created by BBH, uses a "micro to macro" style of filming which shows close up shots of the details of flying, panning to wide shots of the aircraft in motion, ending with the British Airways logo being stitched into fabric.

The campaign will run in a number of BA’s international markets including the USA and India for the first time in seven years.

Marketing spoke to BA's head of marketing Abigail Comber about the strategy behind the new campaign.

Marketing: The first "mission" ad, launched in September 2011, was focused on inspiring BA's staff as much as inspiring its consumers, does this new campaign mark a change in BA's creative marketing approach and if so, why?

Comber: "The 2011 advert was a recommitment to our Motto 'To Fly. To Serve,' and a demonstration of our journey through over 90 years of aviation. It was punctuated with a promise of £5bn in improving the customers experience.  

"The latest advert seeks to demonstrate where this investment has assisted in those improvements showcasing new aircraft, digital boarding passes, great onboard products such as evolved flat beds and amazing food that tastes great in the air.

"The introduction of "today tomorrow" alongside the Coat of Arms gives the continued foundation of our promise and the service our people give."

What has been the internal and consumer feedback from the "To fly. To serve" positioning?

"We've had great feedback on the campaign from customers and colleagues alike. The advert reaffirms their confidence in British Airways as the national carrier.

"People seem to relate to the emotion of flying and airports and this is something that comes across in this latest advert. There's also a nice nod to our legacy in aviation, while showing our innovation with new aircraft too."

BA has said it is currently reviewing its creative model as the airline marketplace has changed considerably in the past few years. What are these changes and how will BA tackle them through marketing?

"We are constantly looking at ways to improve our business and ensure we are using best practice. If we have any changes to make, we would formally announce them."

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