British Airways Home Advantage
As an official Sponsor for the London 2012 Olympic Games, British Airways made use of various social media platforms to launch its widely successful Home Advantage Campaign. The brief of the British Airways Home Advantage campaign was to encourage British people to stay at home during the Olympic Games. The irony was not lost on many. Essentially Britain’s largest airline was telling the British populace not to fly. However the message was bold and original. It was to the point that it stood out from the wide array of Olympic based advertisements launched during the summer of 2012 to celebrate the British Olympics.
The campaign was launched through BA’s Facebook and YouTube pages on the 19th of June. Visitors were met by the British Airways Home Advantage campaigns advertisement, which depicted a BA plane being taxied through London’s streets surrounded by Olympic supporters. For those of you who missed it the video can still be viewed at the following link: click here. The campaigns activity on Facebook was not limited to the video. Users were also invited to submit their postcode to see a BA plane being taxied down their street, with help from the team at Google Streetview. This interactive feature was widely successful, resulting in newsfeeds full of pictures of BA planes passing users houses.
The campaigns social media activity was not limited to Facebook. The reach of the campaign extended to the increasingly popular Twitter. In support for the home nation’s athletes the campaign coined the hashtag #HomeAdvantage. The hashtag was met with great enthusiasm, with large numbers of users utilising the hashtag, especially when celebrating the monumental achievements this summer of athletes like the long distance runner Mo Farrah.
As the Olympic Games progressed so too did the Home Advantage campaign. The Twitter arm of the campaign turned “tweets into tunes”, allowing users of the platform to hear the “sound of the #HomeAdvantage”. The advertising campaign aimed to breathe life into the attitude of the nation towards the Olympics by measuring the level of interaction Twitter users were demonstrating with the games.
The barometer incorporated into the “sound of the #HomeAdvantage” campaign took social media content related to the Olympics and transformed them into a social symphony. Users were able to see and hear the sound wave on the barometer change in accordance to the level of support demonstrated through comments on the platform, for particular athletes, events or venues. The soundtrack for the campaign was specially composed by the internationally acclaimed composer Richard Canavan. The Marketing Innovation manager at BA, Richard Bowden commented on the barometer in a press release. “This social symphony is a first in translating the Olympic social media buzz into an orchestrated sound, where users can track the efforts of Team GB and lend their voices of support.”
The success of the Twitter based barometer is undeniable. By 8th August 2012 the barometer had tracked an astounding 43,000 Twitter based messages for the day, and an overwhelming 358,000 messages for the duration of the Olympic period. For all the social media based campaigns for the Olympics the BA Home Advantage, flew above its competitors in terms of both audience participation and innovation.