We have a simple definition of marketing: SMS, which stands for SELL MORE STUFF. Everything else, such as brand image and brand loyalty, is simply a means to the end of driving sales.
Well, it would seem that BA and its agency BBH have a different view, based on their Olympics ad campaign. The TV and poster campaign have as an objective to stop you from flying, in order to support the British Olympic team. It uses the slogan: "Don't fly support Team GB".
I struggle to get my head round this, don't you?
1. Suspect sponsorship
I suppose the fundamental problem is BA sponsoring the British Team in the first place, given the fact that the Olympics are happening in .... London. This means there is no opportunity for BA to really dramatise the role it is playing in helping athletes perform their best.
But then having spent a load of money on a suspect sponsorship, BA have then thrown even more money at the problem by trying to come up with an ad campaign. And the best they can do is to invest shareholders' money to tell people to use less of their product.
2. Where's the product?
The timing is also strange, as the campaign is running during the Olympics, long after most people have made their traval plans. A better idea might have been to do the campaign several months before the games, and say "Fly later, support team GB". This would have allowed BA to integrate the product into the campaign, for example by offering special discounts to people flying after the Olympics
3. Industry not brand campaign
The final issue is that the campaign is not even about the brand, it is about the UK travel industry in general. The slogan of "Don't fly, support Team GB" is a general and not brand-specific message.
In conclusion, BA gets my vote for the craziest bit of 2012 sponsorship. And perhaps the craziest campaign ever. What do you think?