British Airways Follows ‘Visit Mum’ Viral Success With #WelcomeOfHome Social Contest

British Airways taps into the sentimentality of many expatriates' desires to visit their faraway homelands and families.

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I’m not an expatriate and don’t have any relatives that are, either. So I have no idea what it must be like to live in a different country from the rest of my family.

However, British Airways is doing its best to make sure Indian expatriates, and the broader expat community that lives in America and Canada, understand the airline truly grasps what that life of separation is like and how it can help eradicate the barriers of geography.

As follow up to last year’s successful “Visit Mum” campaign, the airline, working with BBH London, has launched another emotionally charged film entitled The Welcome of Home. The video runs 4 minutes and is posted on a special landing page touting the company’s offerings to its target audience. Additionally, it will be supported through digital advertising — both 15 second pre-roll spots and full in stream video — as well as through social media and Executive Club engagement. All of the efforts will be targeted specifically at second generation Indians living in North America.

The film follows the story of an Indian woman named Chitra who lives in Toronto and is preparing to travel home to India to visit her family, specifically her grandmother.

But Chitra has a surprise for her grandmother; she is traveling to India with her intended fiance seeking the blessing from her grandmother. This is something her grandmother is more than willing to do as she says, “I want to see Chitra get married. Only then will I ask God to bring me up there.”

Working with the award-winning documentary duo Wilkins and McGuire, the agency brought to life all of the emotions experienced when expats return home.

North America is home to close to three million Indian residents, many of whom have extended families back in India, and they travel back for family events, festive periods and special occasions.

British Airways conducted research which found these expatriates experience a tremendous sense of excitement at the prospect of traveling home and also experience a heightened level of apprehension and anxiety about what might await them, especially if they haven’t been back home in a while. This campaign aims to assuage those apprehensions.

Of the effort, British Airways Marketing Manager Victoria Long said,

[blockquote]“British Airways doesn’t just fly people, we connect them with the people that matter most. We understand the value and importance of a warm welcome, it’s a wonderful part of the Indian culture, and we strive to give our customers a little taste of that warm welcome of home from the moment they step on board.”[/blockquote]

And that’s exactly what this campaign achieves.

But the effort doesn’t stop with advertising. The airline has tailored its service on this route to India to include Bollywood films, flight attendants in traditional Indian dress, Hindu and Muslim meals and extra baggage allowance to handle the numerous gifts that travel to and from home.

Supporting this effort is a social media contest launching today which encourages expat travelers to share a photo that reminds them of home to @British_Airways with the hashtag #WelcomeOfHome. Those selected will earn the chance to win a trip home for two.


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About the author

Steve Hall
Steve Hall is a marketing professional, publisher, writer, community manager, photographer and all-around lover of advertising.

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