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Web film: British Airways – Fuelled by Love


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By Malay Desai


By: SapientNitro India

A new campaign by British airline BA has at its centre a six-minute web film that is reportedly inspired by a true story. It follows a young UK-based cabin crew member who is inducted to the team and flies to India for the first time. On this maiden flight to Hyderabad, she meets an old Indian grandmother on board and begins sharing moments with her, creating a bond before she alights. The grandma invites her to come home, which she reluctantly does and discovers a warm family and beautiful memories. The film ends with a tagline BA has used across its campaign, ‘Loving India back since 1924.’


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Loving their customers back is a huge promise for a brand, bigger than what it sounds like. It amounts to going beyond professional, commercial equations and adding a new layer to the relationship between a product/service and the customer. With clothes, perfumes, cities (Philadelphia Tourism turned the ‘I heart NY’ on its head a few years back by saying ‘Philly loves you back’) and now airlines, it’s simple.


British Airways, the mother ship of the mother ship country of the world, breaks into news mostly for negative reasons these days thanks to small bloopers being magnified on social media. Overall though, it must be said they’ve taken the Indian market seriously and now will, with us being their second-most important fliers after Americans. Imperialism, take that.


Neeraj Ghaywan, currently the face of the independent film industry, has directed this film written by K V Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer of SapientNitro India. It is filled with long emotional moments much like Ghaywan’s directorial debut Masaan. Ghaywan gets a simple, endearing story to play with – old desi grandma charms the living daylights out of pretty young Brit girl.


BA’s films for us, coming every February of late, have been spot on – in tapping the Indian emotions, but keeping out needless melodrama. In 2014, their ‘get closer’ film surprised a Mumbai couple craving for personal space with a trip to London. In 2015, my pick of all, BA flew down an NRI boy to meet his mother and made a brilliant film of it. This time, the focus is not on going out or coming home, it’s on the Brits’ view of us, or rather, the BA staff’s view of us. White recognition but not in with the Slumdog Millionaire gaze down. It’s a win.


‘Fuelled by love’ ticks the right boxes of the airline TVC – service, care, efficiency etc., but reinforces the bond and heritage BA has had over the past decades with NRIs and desis. The characters seem real, the treatment is warm and the little moments, such as dadi giving gori me’m an embroidered hanky, are beautiful.


Well played BA, you’re forgiven for asking Sachin Tendulkar his last name. Cannot wait for February next year!


(To watch BA’s films, go to Youtube.com/BritishAirways)


 Social Newsfeed 

Your regular dose on the shifts in the social media universe                     


Big Mac tries telling us #ThodaTimeAur

Maharaja Mac, one of McDonald’s oldest offerings to India, just got a relaunch of sorts last month when it was at the centre of an integrated campaign. While TVCs showed goofy youngsters spending ‘more time’ having what evidently was fast food, the social media channels of McDonald’s emphasized on #ThodatimeAur, i.e. spending more time on stuff like talking, shopping and munching cholesterol-boosting stuff than online. Kind of similar to its own campaign last year, #KuchPalOffline (which in turn was similar to Cinthol’s #AliveisOffline – both of which were ironical), which seems not as par as this one now. McD’s have got the right idea this time, although their social media execution lacks the plenty of opportunities the idea brings along.

Burger King likes this


YouTube red to premiere original content this week

This Wednesday, YouTube Red, the ‘paid’, ad-free YouTube service I had told you about way back last year will stream out its original shows, music and content in the US. If I were to believe the reports I read, Google’s giant arm has spent a lot of moolah in bringing on artist channels of Madonna, Sofia Vergara and Ashton Kutcher. Good bets, those, I feel, but how it compares with other paid content services remains to be seen. As for us, we too will be able to purchase (most of) it as the services grow. Will Google India bet on making pay-to-watch original content for Indians? It should, I say.

TVF likes this


Whatsapp and Gmail top 1 billion users

And finally I have news from both the Facebook and Google front. FB’s recent dear acquisition, Whatsapp has touched a billion users and almost at the same time, we hear that Google’s email service we all use, has reached the milestone too. The timing is interesting, and it goes to show just how much the former has grown, as Google took over 10 years for Gmail to reach the milestone whereas Whatsapp took less than 6. Both the omnipresent products (on which we spend our days!) now join the 1B club, which already has many products from Google already – Maps, Android, Chrome, Play and of course, Search.

Larry Page likes this


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