Cannes Lions

It's Coming Home



3 Shortlisted
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Case Film






As the nation’s flag carrier, British Airways role is to represent everything that’s good about Britain. With plenty of negativity surrounding the country on the back of the Brexit vote, we’d identified the World Cup as a potential source of optimism.

However, with no official sponsorship in place and no budget set aside, we knew we’d have to think differently.


Appearing in print, outdoor and social, the creative idea was a British Airways boarding pass that capitalised upon the ‘It’s coming home’ euphoria that was gripping the nation as England progressed in the tournament. This creative thought gave us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate our true football fan credentials, depth of World Cup knowledge and famous British wit.

To bring the idea effectively to life, timing was everything, with positive brand engagement depending on British Airways credibly riding the wave of England’s success. The creative idea, execution and media bookings were therefore turned around in only a day to maximise impact.


Our approach therefore depended upon engaging with the British public empathetically – behaving and thinking like a true football fan, but also in a way that was completely authentic. Naturally, the creative idea had to be completely in keeping with the brand. So, when people started to believe that the World Cup trophy really could be lifted by England, we spotted a unique opportunity.

The trigger for action was when ‘It’s coming home’ memes, inspired by England’s famous ‘Three Lions’ anthem, began to flood the internet. British Airways has the licence

e to be patriotic and the core reason for an airline to exist is to literally transport people to and from their ‘home’, so it felt like a perfect fit for the brand.


The fast turnaround was not at the expense of the craft that underlines British Airways advertising at its best. Details on the boarding pass included the name of the passenger ‘Football’ and a flight scheduled to leave Moscow for London on Sunday 15th July at 18.00 (the date of the final and the time we hoped the England team would leave Russia, triumphant).

To underline our true football fan credentials, we included further topical references such as a nod to England’s popular manager Gareth Southgate, ‘Gate: South’ and the team’s last and only World Cup triumph, ‘Gate closes: 1966’.

The attention to detail didn’t stop there. The seat number 52H (52 years of hurt), the Wembley stadium postcode (the home of English football) and captain Harry Kane’s gold boot aspirations all featured.

The work ran in the UK from 6th – 11th July 2018.


Despite British Airways not being a sponsor, the work became the most talked about piece of advertising at the World Cup with an engagement rate 22.5 x the British Airways benchmark, whilst in total, reaching over 47 million people organically.

It appeared in high profile global publications such as The Sun, Mail Online, CNN, the BBC and UNILAD Sport. In total, the brand generated £115,000 worth of paid media value for a shoestring total budget of £21,000.

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