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22/09/2011 / loyaltymarketingnews

BA ad ‘underlines power of social media’

Only a few days after advertising legend Sir Martin Sorrell publicly questioned the value of brands advertising on social networks such as Facebook, British Airways has taken the decision to launch its new advert on Facebook, rather than via the usual traditional media platforms like television or newspapers.

It is one of the first major UK brands to do so and according to digital marketing experts, it quite a departure from the usual way brands use social media sites to promote their companies.

“BA is definitely one of the first big brands to launch a major advertising campaign on a social network…Beginning a campaign of this size, which usually premieres on TV or in newspapers, is a pioneering move and represents a tipping point for social media’s importance to the advertising world,” explained Ben Wood, managing director of iProspect, a large digital marketing agency.

“Most brands now have some element of social media in their campaigns but it is usually part of the mix, rather than the leading piece.”

Last week, Sir Martin, who runs the major marketing services company WPP, told the Royal Television Society that he had some “fundamental doubts” about how brands advertising on social networks could make decent returns on their large user numbers.

He said: “I have some fundamental doubts about the ability to monetise social platforms.

“If you attempt to monetise it, it’s risky, there are question marks,” he said. “Facebook, Google+, Twitter … is a social interaction. We used to write letters to each other and now we correspond through Facebook and Twitter and other forms of communication. If you interrupt that with a message you may run into trouble.”

Wood added: “I agree [with Sir Martin] that brands are still experimenting with what works best on social media, as the advertising industry hasn’t had that long to get to grips with this new type of platform – but I think it is wrong to say that social networks like Facebook don’t represent a huge opportunity for companies to engage customers.”

BA’s new 90 second advert, which features a few CGI elements, will launch at 11am today on the airline’s Facebook page. It will then be followed up with adverts on TV and in newspapers.


(via The Telegraph)


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