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VIDEO: BA kicks off heritage TV ad campaign with web debut

British Airways launched its TV advertising campaign today with the release of a slick 90 second featurette "Aviators" that draws from the airline’s nine decades of history.

The advert is part of what CEO Keith Williams said was its biggest marketing campaign for a decade, and "backs the £5 billion being spent on customer products and services over the next five years".

The retro-style television advert incorporates elements from the 90-year history of the airline and its predecessors. It includes such iconic aircraft as the Douglas DC-3, de Havilland Dragon Rapide, Vickers VC10 and of course Concorde, as well as a DH51 pretending to be to original AT&T DH9A from 1919. Heritage names like Imperial Airways, BEA and BOAC are much in evidence, as is BA's original red-tail "Negus & Negus" scheme of the 1970s.

BOAC VC-10, British Airways
 © British Airways

Filming was undertaken at Heathrow, Duxford, Brooklands and the Shuttleworth Collection at Old Warden. Some of it was created using real aircraft and some by CGI.

The high profile marketing campaign is designed to re-enforce BA's heritage as a full-service, global and pioneering flag carrier and includes a return of the old coat of arms. This dates back to the early days of BA but was brought to the fore in the so-called "Landor scheme" era that began in the mid-1980s. And with the crest comes a revival of the slogan: "To Fly. To Serve."

The overall campaign was managed by agency BBH Design who worked with BA’s in-house design team London design consultants Forpeople, who assisted with the redraft of the coat of arms.

The "Aviators" ad launched today is running alongside a print campaign. It debuted on BA’s Facebook page and is due to start being show and then on Channel 4 tonight.

The coat of arms logo will be applied to the fuselages of all BA's aircraft but there are currently no plans for retro schemes to be applied to any of the fleet.