Paul Simons: In defence of Ridley Scott and Turkish Airlines

My esteemed colleague Stephen Foster felt the new work for Turkish Airlines has some flaws in as much it is a pat on the back for the new airport. Having seen the TV spot a few times now, plus the film, I can see an interesting and fresh approach emerging here.

Directed by Ridley Scott it is a highly polished and cinematic production. The TV spot is a bit like a trailer for a movie with a series of fast action cuts and the end frame has the line “Watch the film”.

The film is six minutes and is a class job. The plot is about a young woman on the trail of another mysterious female. The action gives Mr Scott a variety of backdrops that are big and impressive along the banks of the Bosphorus. The production is titled #TheJourney.

It is about the airline however it avoids the gratuitous aircraft clips and lets the viewer interpret the clues that add up to a very classy airline. Turkish Airlines perform well in airline reputation surveys, always up near or at the top. This production has the confidence that reflects its reputation as a leading airline.

I think the smart approach here is using the TV spot as a sampler for the longer film that gives the director more scope and space to paint an intelligent perspective of a brand. In my humble opinion there isn’t one cheesy moment in the six minutes unlike most travel ads who seem to believe it is the law to feature smiling happy couples or families in a crammed thirty second commercial.

Another detail; a black Range Rover is featured through most of the six minutes, I bet a contribution to the production cost, definitely the correct audience. The Range Rover looks great and fits the locations.

So I give it a high mark for creativity and production, much better than the BA work around at the moment and what is going on with Virgin Atlantic?

Finally full marks to the brave client for hiring Ridley Scott and finding the dosh for this exceptional production.

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is the former London Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.