CASE STUDY: How British Airways & Comic Relief break a record

Provided by smp
We helped create a Guinness World Record for British Airways, improve their brand image and raise money for Comic Relief.
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What was the Challenge / Background of the Campaign?

British Airways asked us to help promote their 'Flying Start' partnership with Comic Relief. The challenge was to position the brand in a favourable light, whilst ensuring that any tactical execution was inspiring enough to encourage members of the public to make a charitable donation. There was a window of only 20 live days for donations, so we needed to reach passengers at as many touch points as possible.

What was the Campaign Objective?

Their primary objective was to build on BA's partnership with Comic Relief to help enhance perceptions of the BA brand among the flying population in the UK and reaffirm loyalty of known BA customers. Secondary to this was as a major Comic Relief partner, raising money for Red Nose Day through donations.

What was the Solution?

Our insight was that a trade off had to occur between the brand and the audience, in much the same way that Comic Relief works: 'we'll make you laugh if you donate to a good cause'. Our strategy was to combine a charitable donation with the opportunity to 'Win tickets for the funniest flight in history', a Guinness World Record for the highest comedy gig. The gig was to be performed on a British Airways plane at 35,000 feet by Dara O Briain, Jack Whitehall and Jon Richardson.

What were the Results?

Brand tracking revealed that 53% of respondents agreed that the campaign gave a better impression of BA, 46% said that they felt more positive towards BA and 23% were more inclined to fly with BA after seeing the campaign! Substantial funds were raised for Comic Relief and a world record for the highest ever comedy gig was achieved, creating considerable press interest and positive awareness of BA.

What were the Key Learnings of this Campaign?

Gwen Jones, Manager, Brand Communications, British Airways said, "Working with Comic Relief gave us a unique marketing opportunity, so we needed a bold, unique and ownable idea for Red Nose Day. In collaboration with our in-house and our inter-agency team, smp helped us develop the initial idea into a fully integrated exploitation plan. They used their expertise to bring the idea to life - finding solutions to make the promotional idea work through the creative execution of the campaign. smp's experience and expertise provided a new and unique dimension to the team".
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