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India is a very important market for British Airways, second largest outside UK and US: Moran Birger

03-February-2016
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India is a very important market for British Airways, second largest outside UK and US: Moran Birger

British Airways recently unveiled its latest brand campaign for the Indian market titled ‘Fuelled by Love’. Keeping in tune with their previous campaigns, the new digital ad is high on emotional quotient. It is based on the real life incident of a UK based cabin crew member who forges a special bond with one of the customers during her maiden trip to India. The campaign has been conceptualised by Sapient Nitro and directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, the critically acclaimed director of the Hindi film, Masaan.

Click here to view the ad: 

Commenting on the film, KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, Sapient Nitro said, “The brief given to us was the relationship of British Airways with this country, which is 90 years old, so how do we bring out the bond between both the airline and the customers. The reason why most of their campaigns are touching is because personal travel is always filled with emotion, there is a reason and purpose why people travel and the question comes- how do we really exploit that. Therefore, we searched for real life stories, we spoke to the cabin crew members and got rich stories from them. Some of them probably will come as a follow up to the main film.”

We caught up with Moran Birger, British Airways' Regional Commercial Manager, South Asia to discuss the latest campaign, the reason for focusing more on digital, current challenges in the Indian market and more………..

Excerpts:

How will you be promoting your new campaign? What are the ads spends?

It is only a digital campaign and we are promoting it through our social channels, like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and YouTube. It will be in three phases commencing from 2 February until the end of the month. We will also be using print and OOH as part of our marketing strategy. We plan to take this campaign forward through other short compelling crew stories and photo essays.

Over the last few years, we have undergone a £5 billion investment program, that includes everything from new aircraft, new world traveller economy, world traveller plus, premium economy cabins, a revamped first cabin and better lounges around British Airways’ network. This new campaign is part of the£5 billion investment.

You seem to focus more on digital. However, most of your competitors have their presence on TV, is there any specific reason to stay away from television?

The reason why we focus on digital is because it is the most personal medium which you can get. It enables you to start conversations with your customers and reach out to your correct audiences. It also allows them to get back to you with their feedback or any kind of questions they have.

How will you define your target audience?

We don’t create any age brackets because we want to reach out to people across age groups. 

Your campaigns focus a lot on the aspect of emotional connectivity. How would you describe the tonality of your films?

Mostly our films are based on real life experiences. The tonality of each film differs from the other. Having flown here for 90 years, we have a very good understanding of the Indian market, of the culture and the people here and to that extent we make sure that all our campaigns are suited and personalised.

How cluttered is the long-distance luxury aviation category? What kind of competition do you face?

I think competition is great, there are various airlines serving different markets. I think our strength is based on the fact that we have got a very long history. We have been here for 90 years and therefore, we understand our customers well. We treat them individually and personalise our services. Our strength lies in being able to relate to the customers, offer London as a destination and also provide a very expansive network to Europe and US.

What are the current challenges in the Indian market?

India has been a very exciting market for us; it is the second largest market outside UK and after US. Our journey here has been very interesting; we have innovated a lot, brought in new aircrafts into the market, got in a lot of latest technology into the market. We are constantly innovating and thinking, how else we can cater to our customers and give them personalised services.

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