What do British people mean when they say ‘hello love’? And, is all British food beige? These are just two of the most-asked questions Americans have about Britain and they feature in a new joint campaign by British Airways and VisitBritain.
The adverts draw from America’s top 50 online searches about Britain and invite a wide range of British people to respond directly. The result is a good-humoured exposé of today’s life in the land of Shakespeare.
It turns out British people are very polite, perhaps overly so, saying ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’ a great deal. They are incomprehensible when they ask for a ‘bottle of water’ and the idea that British food is beige is laughable. There’s a cast of 70 and the same faces reappear in different clips, so it’s easy to become quite fond of the interviewees who include a Welsh rapper, an NHS neurosurgeon, a self-avowed Essex girl in a tracksuit and a wild-haired Scot.
But which question was the most unexpected? “The most surprising question was about British food being beige. I’ve been debating it among my friends ever since!” said British Airways Inflight Manager Jason Consiglio, who took part in the campaign. “Answering these questions gave me a chance to recognize how much I love being British, and the confidence to say how great we really are. We’re a beautiful country that champions traditions, cultures and people. I could not be happier to represent Britain, and British Airways, in this campaign.”
British Airways Director of Marketing Hamish McVey said: “Everyone knows about Britain’s vibrant cities, historical sites and beautiful landscapes. But there is a curiosity around British culture – now more than ever. We’re incredibly proud of this campaign, which dispels the stereotypes, sheds light on who we truly are and why you should visit to get to know us better. And what better place to immerse yourself in the British spirit than on a British Airways flight.”
The campaign goes live this week on various platforms across US TV and social media. A selection of the original films is available to view online through the campaign’s landing page.
The British Airways and VisitBritain’s ‘Ask Britain Anything’ venture is part of the UK Government’s refreshed GREAT Britain global drive, designed to pull in tourists and visitors as the country celebrates landmark events such as King Charles’s coronation on 6 May.