Bake your brand into every bit of your business, like BA

I saw a lovely example of ‘baking’ the brand into every bit of your business today on a British Airways flight. It was that safety video that every airline has to show. You know, the one about how to fasten your seatbelt and inflate your life jacket. Snore.

Well, this safety video was different.

It was an entertaining mini-movie featuring a host of well-known stars including Gordon Ramsey, Thandie Newton, Rowan Atkinson, Rob Brydon and Chewitol Etiofor. It did all the safety stuff, and also asked people to give spare change for their ‘Flying Start’ campaign done with Comic Relief.

I think this is smart on several levels.

1. Refresh the brand

First, the film refreshes what made BA famous. It is ‘reassuringly British’, by having several well-loved British performers like Sir Ian McCellan, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jim Broadbent.

On the other hand, it injects some humour and warmth through a sprinkling of jokes, the presence of comedians like Rob Brydon, and a Mr Bean-like performance from Rowan Atkinson.

2. Get the message across

My guess is that the film is also more effective. By entertaining people, the film taps into ‘system 1’ thinking which is emotional and intuitive, rather than trying to lecture them through rational, ‘system 2’ thinking.

I normally ignore the safety videos. But I actually watched this one. And looking around me, it seemed that more passengers than normal were paying attention. At the end the video also encourage people to give spare change to BA’s Flying Start charity.

3. Cut  costs cleverly

I’d love to know what the video cost compared to the usual films an airline makes. My guess is that the BA team were savvy with their spending.

First, I would hope that the stars took part for a low fee, given that the video was encouraging people to be safe and to give money to a good cause via the Flying Start program.

Second, the actual production is super simple, shot in a studio with a few props, not on a plane or on location.

4. Create word of mouth

BA has to have a safety video, but by being creative they have produced a piece of commutation with potential to drive word-of-mouth. I had already heard about the video from Mrs Taylor, and hence I had my iPad at the ready to write this blog! And its been watched by over 7million people on Youtube, which is not bad for a safety video.

In conclusion, the BA safety video is a nice example of baking the brand into every bit of your business, even those parts that you wouldn’t normally consider!

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