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It's Coming Home

It's Coming Home | British Airways | Ogilvy
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Industry: Transport & Tourism
Media:Design & Branding
Style: Minimalism
Why is this work relevant for Media?

As the nation’s flag carrier, BA’s role is to represent everything that’s good about Britain. We therefore wanted to celebrate the success of the England football team and fuel the excitement surrounding the World Cup tournament in Russia. By behaving like a true fan, we set out to enhance existing conversations and start new ones.


As the nation’s flag carrier, BA’s role is to represent everything that’s good about Britain. With plenty of negativity surrounding the country on the back of the Brexit vote, we’d identified the World Cup as a potential source of optimism.

However, with no official sponsorship in place and no budget set aside, we knew we’d have to think differently.

Describe the creative idea/insights (30% of vote)

Our creative approach depended upon engaging with the British public through empathy – behaving and thinking like a true football fan. So, when people started to believe that the World Cup trophy really could be lifted by England, we spotted a unique opportunity.

The trigger for action was when ‘It’s coming home’ memes, inspired by England’s famous ‘Three Lions’ anthem, began to flood the internet. If England won the World Cup, football would be coming home. This led to the creation of our boarding pass idea where we, as the nation’s flag carrier, could literally help to transport football home.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

We understood whilst the British Airways name attracts considerable attention, it’s not always been for the right reasons. It was therefore key that we didn’t exacerbate any existing tensions during the World Cup.
Timing was everything, with positive brand engagement depending on BA credibly riding the wave of England’s success. The work and media bookings were therefore turned around in only a day to maximise impact.
For out of home and press, no specific targeting was applied. The focus was on mass reach vs. minimal budget. The activity ran on the day of England’s victorious quarter-final against Sweden and then before the semi-final loss to Croatia.

On social platforms, we actively targeted Twitter users already discussing the World Cup.

However, with minimal budget, the main goal was reach through earned media.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

The fast turnaround was not at the expense of the craft that underlines BA advertising at its best. Details on the boarding pass included the name of the passenger ‘Football’ and a flight scheduled to leave Moscow for London on Sunday 15th July at 18.00 (the date of the final and the time we hoped the England team would leave Russia, triumphant).

To underline our true football fan credentials, we seamlessly included further topical references such as a nod to England’s popular manager Gareth Southgate, ‘Gate: South’ and the team’s last triumph, ‘Gate closes: 1966’.

The attention to detail didn’t stop there. The seat number 52H (52 years of hurt), the Wembley postcode and captain Harry Kane’s gold boot aspirations all featured.

The work ran in the UK from 6th – 11th July 2019 across Out of Home, Press and Twitter.

List the results (30% of vote)

Despite BA not being a sponsor, the work became the most talked about piece of advertising at the World Cup with an engagement rate 22.5 x the BA benchmark, whilst reaching over 47 million people organically.

It appeared in high profile global publications such as The Sun, Mail Online, CNN, the BBC and UNILAD Sport. In total, the brand generated £115,000 worth of paid media value for a shoestring budget of £21,000.
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2019
Shortlist Media
Use of Integrated Media
Latest Updated