The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

I Wish I Could Fly
August 15, 2006, 8:02 am
Filed under: Comment

I love this ad from Air France for their Business Class seat …

No, it’s not simply because they have deviated from the usual photo of some smug bastard stretched out on a seat inside a plane [though that helps] … it’s because this ad represents a passanger truly enjoying a feeling of relaxation and comfort – which is in contrast to the competition, whose ads seem to demonstrate their passengers only experience a compromised version of it

It’s simple, effective, engaging and disrupting … I just hope Air France can live up to the promise which, if my past experiences with them are any indication, is unlikely.

Still, putting all that aside, this ad at least gives me a positive impression about Air France – something billions of other airline ‘business class’ ads fail to do*.

There’s a great book called Why I Hate Flying by Henry Mintzberg.

In it he describes that people who fly [especially Business Class] are mental because ultimately, they are paying for someone to decide when they can eat, what they can eat, what they can watch, when they can sleep, when they can wake up and when they can use the loo. 

I always thought this would make a great brand idea for an airline – but for some reason, the majority seem happy churning out the same old cliched rubbish time and time again. 

Good on Air France for trying something new … it certainly worked for me … but the bigger issue is how the airline industry is going to counteract all the crap going on in the World with terrorism – because if they don’t, we’re going to see more and more brands disappearing or fighting for a slice of a much smaller pie. Talk about brands under attack!

*Exludes Virgin Atlantic of course … they’re the best airline EVER and not because they’re a client of mine. Oh no.

10 Comments so far
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Yes, this ad is different in a nice way. Unfortunately, this is the only positive thing there is to say about Air France. I avoid them like the plague and have vowed never to fly with them again after 2 horrible experiences.

Comment by Fredrik Sarnblad

But the Swedes were never very friendly to the French were you …

Comment by Rob

I have to give good words to VA as well, when I went to Hong Kong they were pretty much faultless (apart from my lack of legroom, but thats ubiquitous). Even down to the pilot who reassured a few scared people about the weather during bad and shaky turbulence. I would definitely fly with them again to HK.

As for the ad, its good. As you say, genuine comfort not a compromised version of, excellent. Shame that it appears the reality doesnt match the promise.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Keep talking up VA – they pay our wages, ha!

Comment by Rob

If I can get a discount on my next trip to HK i’ll talk for days about the quality of the entertainment, the unexpected edibility of the food and the nice service 🙂

Oh and also the fact that they kindly let us fly despite unwittingly being WAY over the baggage limit (thanks to presents for numerous relatives). It would have cost us over £700 to pay for it…

Im thinking of going Premium Economy next time for the extra legroom though(im over 6’2″)!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

My fave story is a mate of mine was on a flight to NY [on his honeymoon] when just like in the movies, there was an announcement saying “IS THERE A DR ON BOARD?”

Nick’s missus is a DR so she told staff who asked her to check out a passenger who had a suspected heart attack.

After looking at him, said he would be OK till they got to NY.

However, when they got to their hotel, they found they had been upgraded to a suite thanks to Virgin, then they were upgraded on their flight back home and finally, when they got to their door, there was a bouquet of flowers and a personal letter from Branson thanking them for their assistance in the medical matter.

They will always fly Vigin because Branson showed he really cared about their trip. And the smart thing is the cost of doing all this for Nick and his wife was waaaaaaaaaaaay less than having to make an emergency landing because they didn’t know if the man would make it or not.

I’ve worked with them since 1989 … and without doubt, it’s a client I am really proud to represent – not because of the ads they let us do [which helps] but what they represent and how they live … I wonder how many agencies could say that about their rostered clients eh?

Comment by Rob

You get the feeling that RB (and therefore the whole company) really cares.

Like the fact he personally introduces the safety video. When he says “I hope you have an enjoyable flight” you believe he really wants you to.

My nan and grandad go abroad a lot, and they usually go VA; thats why I chose them for my HK trip.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

You really want this upgrade don’t you! Hahaha

Comment by Rob

Well, its not that VA are expensive… (good value with quality id say)

Its just that im going to be going to HK every 2/3 years possibly for the rest of my life. (My girlfriend’s family live over there)… and thats not cheap!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Although you must fly more than Superman in volcano season…

Rockin all over the world you are 🙂

Comment by Rob Mortimer

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