Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

British Airways advertising, then and now

I must say, I’m rather impressed with British Airways’ new advert, which not only resurrects the old “To fly. To serve.” motto, but features some rather impressive (though no doubt digitally produced) footage of some notable aircraft, both those operated by British Airways itself and some operated by its predecessor companies. I particularly enjoyed seeing Concorde, of course — if one can think of a lovlier aircraft of any category or any time, I’d be (a) sceptical and (b) willing to admit that there’s no accounting for taste.

Concorde, of course, was Anglo-French — but the basic configuration of the aircraft was British, the wing was entirely British-designed, and the Rolls-Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 was… mostly British. When developed, at M2 cruise, it was the most efficient powerplant in the world. And, of course, Concorde’s more than 600,000 supersonic hours in revenue service far surpass all the supersonic hours of all other Western aircraft combined (all of them military, of course).

Another reason I’m fond of this video is the appearance — indeed, even prominence, if the last frame is anything to go by — of the Vickers (later BAC) Super VC-10 (aka the “Funbus”). As BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation, one of the predecessor companies of today’s British Airways) was more or less responsible for the commercial failure of the technically brilliant VC-10, it’s pleasant to see the old Funbus remembered in this video. (The nickname “Funbus” apparently comes from the Vickers F.B.5 “Gunbus” of World War I vintage. And the Funbus continues to serve today in the RAF, though not for much longer.) I saw one in person once, as I was departing Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP); an RAF Super VC-10 was parked on a remote ramp en route between Brize and Red Flag.

All this historical discussion leads to the second portion of today’s post. In the August 1964 edition of Venture magazine (on which more another time), there appeared a BOAC advert that managed to be both sexist AND racist:

Good Lord. No, of course the gauche Westerners can’t be arsed to pronounce a Japanese name. Naturally, because she’s Japanese, she’ll be serving you chiefly Japanese dishes. And what of the just-this-side-of-sexual overtones of “[she’ll] thank you so nicely you know she means it. She does”? I guess we’ve all come a long way, baby.


Posted November 14, 2011 by HighpointOne in Advertising, Aviation

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