• Michael Weeding

British Airways uses interactive billboards to tap into the magic of flying. Next it will be used to

I remember the first time I flew on a plane and to this day I can recall the emotions that I felt as I walked down the aero bridge towards the plane. Adding to the excitement was the fact I was wearing my new shoes that I was only allowed to wear for the first time on this day, so my most vivid memory of the experience is the view of my shoes as I walked onto the plane.

With this memory it is not surprising for me that a new British Airways campaign using Interactive Billboards has been designed to tap directly into the emotional connection many would have with their first flying experience and has been developed with the objective to remind people of the magic of flying.

Using specially designed surveillance technology as a British Airways plane flies overhead a child on the billboard will point to the plane and announce the city where the flight originated.

When we talk about creativity in digital advertisements the conversation tends to be focused on the mobile or tablet, but the opportunity to be creative goes way beyond the connected device and this campaign demonstrates how through using digital technology even the boring billboard can be brought to life.

The next destination for marketers will not just be the billboard but the interactive TV sets that are starting to appear in lounge rooms across the globe.

Unfortunately for marketing teams managing airlines I think the only positive experience anyone has with flying is their first time, from this point the experience is all downhill.

Maybe for their next campaign they can connect us with the emotions that we felt the first time the flight was late, or how we felt when our luggage was lost or damaged. It may not be as elegant as a child pointing at a plane going overhead but I am sure it will be popular within social channels.

It would be great if in future campaigns someone could point to the plane, not proclaiming the flight number and country the flight originated but announce the destination of your lost luggage, “there goes your bag, headed for Barcelona while you are headed for Sydney”.


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