A couple from Pyrford in Surrey found themselves at the centre of a touching new British Airways marketing campaign this week, designed to reunite friends and relatives in Australia.
The airline, which will be the only European carrier flying direct to Australia from May 2014, wanted to find a special way to reunite the one million expats* living there with people back in the UK.
Alec and Catherine Beattie, who have children and grand children in Australia were surprised at a specially staged event in London, engineered to create a personal moment for them to receive two complimentary British Airways flights to visit their family.
Catherine Beattie received an invitation from British Airways to attend a film event, but was unaware that she and her husband would turn out to have a starring role.
The couple watched a short film only to realise that the young lady at the centre of it was their own grand daughter, and they had become part two of a three-part film about their family.
The campaign, which is the brainchild of British Airways, OgilvyOne London and Tourism Australia, is designed to create special moments for families.
The original film created with the Rowling family in Australia will be extended to show the moment Catherine and Alec were surprised and will follow them on their journey to Australia. Next week the film will be promoted using British Airways and Tourism Australia’s social media channels.
To support the campaign, which uses the strapline ‘Australia has everything…except you’, British Airways has launched digital postcards on its website, allowing families to upload photographs and send personalised messages to their loved ones.
Customers are being offered 10 per cent off flights to Australia at ba.com/visitsoon. Visitors to the page can also view the moment the Beatties realised their family was the subject of the film and that they would soon be visiting them in Australia. Alternatively, view the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XdhXX3STzY
The airline is also making visiting friends and relatives even better value with a special promotional fare of £799 for travel in November. The fares, which are in World Traveller, are available to book until April 7, 2014.
Richard Tams, British Airways’ head of UK&I Sales and Marketing, said: “We’ve designed a unique campaign to help British Airways’ customers create special and memorable moments with families and friends in Australia. We hope to reunite lots more people this year down under.”
Alec Beattie said “I had absolutely no idea that my family in Sydney had been working with British Airways on this special event. We are overwhelmed and excited at the prospect of visiting Australia to spend time with them.”
Denise von Wald, Tourism Australia’s Regional General Manager UK/ Northern Europe, said: “We’re delighted to be working with British Airways on this campaign which encourages people living in Australia to invite their UK based friends and family to experience our unique Aussie lifestyle and incredible tourism experiences.”
British Airways offers a daily flight to Australia from London Heathrow.
British Airways Holidays also offer seven nights in November at the four star Parkroyal Darling Harbour hotel, Sydney for £999 per person, based on a family of four travelling. Book by April 7, 2014. Visit www.ba.com or call 0844 493 0758.
Notes to editors:
· *Visitor stats provided from IVS YE Sep 2013 results. These results show that visiting friends and relatives (known as VFR) is the largest visiting segment out of UK, representing 43 per cent of all visitors aged 15 years and above (versus 37 per cent five years ago). This group contributes AUSD910 million or 30 per cent of total visitor spend (versus 27 per cent five years ago). It is a resilient segment, growing on average 1.2 per cent each year over the last five years.