In the new BA World Offers commercial they've created an empty London - empty bed, empty house, empty fishtank, empty streets, empty Paddington, empty City, empty cafe, empty dealing room. It's a spectacular, expensive-looking, simple, memorable trick; and it seems very familiar. Does it come straight out of a film - a disaster movie? A monster movie? Something American mid-Seventies perhaps? School of
The Day the Earth Stood Still? I don't know - I'm not enough of a buff (a modest prize for the reader who identifies it). Maybe there's no direct antecedent, just an artful reading of the look, the feeling and the high-anxiety Radiophonic Workshop soundtrack of the genre.
Either way it's a very distinctive branded way to talk dirty about cut-price airfares without losing class or going soft-focus cliche like most of the holiday companies (the tour operators are currently quite undistinguishable with their warm tones, careful pacing, family fun and minor-league whimsy).
London's empty because everyone's gone on BA World Offers. BA's suburban commuter hero, yelling 'Where is everybody?' from the top of a City marble hall would wake the dead, and the hard sell to salsa that follows - Rio from pounds 299 return, LA from pounds 195 - marks a real sit-up-and-take-notice change of pace.
That filmic impression makes everything seem big - like all BA's advertising. In marketing-speak it adds value. Peter York
Videos supplied by Tellex Commercials.