’No way BA-AA!’ That was the typically pugnacious message adorning the fuselage of one of Virgin Atlantic’s jets which I glimpsed a couple of month’s ago while taxiing around Heathrow.

’No way BA-AA!’ That was the typically pugnacious message adorning

the fuselage of one of Virgin Atlantic’s jets which I glimpsed a couple

of month’s ago while taxiing around Heathrow.

Why, I thought, don’t more people use all those acres of painted and

polished aluminium creatively rather than have them just sit around

looking corporate and understated?

Well, clearly I was not alone because Jaguar has done a deal with

Ryanair to use its aircraft as flying billboards. The elegant green cat

is a perfect complement to the curvaceous jets thanks to the efforts of

styling team Geoff Lawson and Fergus Pollock.

It is such a brilliant media choice, instantly redolent of cosmopolitan

destinations and international chic and being exposed to a highly

selected band of ambitious, achievement-focused globetrotters. This is a

great gesture of confidence from Ryanair since its identity only sits

discreetly under the wings, and yet somehow it gains from the

juxtaposition - perfect synergy.

It’s extraordinary, when you think about it, that the promotional

warfare which permeates every square inch of most major airports is

suddenly suppressed the moment you step through the gate or look out

onto the tarmac. All those aircraft tootling around and doing no more

than promote their ownership: ’Look, I’m an Air Zimbabwe Boeing.’

The impact of aircraft as an advertising medium has got to be enormous.

As yet the novelty value is high, target audiences clearly defined and

international exposure is guaranteed.

One thing is for certain, this medium needs the right clients to pull

off such stunts. There are rumours that Guinness is interested. I can

see it now: ’Pure (Irish) Genius.’ As a passenger I would be quite

sensitive to the sort of advertising I had wrapped around my aircraft.

Omega watches fine, Kwik-Fit not sure. Harrods yep, Savacentre nope.

I can’t wait to see who will be next to sign up with Ryanair - 16

aircraft to go - and after that which airline will follow it down this

audacious path.


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