‘Happy Flying’ ad smuggles in a Budgie

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DraftFCB and Pacific Blue’s ‘Happy Flying’ campaign, which features some of the airline’s cabin crew and pilots frolicking in the aisles and singing an aviation-themed remix of the world’s most sickening tune, the Macarena, has been voted Best TV Commercial at the Low Cost Airlines World Asia Pacific 2010 conference in Singapore.

Low cost airlines from around the Asia Pacific region were eligible to enter the awards, known as the Budgie$, and Terrapin’s Lynette Han, the organiser of the event, says they’re designed to recognise the leaders, innovators, creative talents and pioneers in the Asia Pacific Low Cost Airlines industry.

“We were looking for an ad that delivered the airline’s message in an innovative and creative way. It had to be eye-catching and with a memorable jingle,” Ms Han says.

More than 350 conference delegates watched the nominated commercials and voted for their favourite, with commercials from Air Asia, IndiGo Airlines, Jetstar Asia and Tiger Airways also making the finals.

James Mok, executive creative director at DraftFCB, says he wanted to capture the upbeat and personable character of the Pacific Blue team, so real cabin crew and pilots were used.

“It was a lot of fun making this ad. Pacific Blue crew are very passionate about the airline they work for . . . We wanted to be able to capture that spontaneity, as well as change the way people perceive flying by opening the door for a more enjoyable experience.”

Apparently, the rather polarising ad also found favour with the New Zealand public, with the TVC voted second most popular in a monthly survey in the November 2009 issue of AdMedia. The survey obviously neglected to speak with those whose instant response to it was a little bit of vomit in the back of the mouth. And it seems no points were deducted for foisting a series of flashmobs, the scourge of late 90s marketing, upon an unsuspecting public either (does two constitute a mob?).

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