Flying Start is British Airways’ global charity partnership with Comic Relief, helping to transform the lives of disadvantaged children in the UK and across some of the poorest countries in the world. Since the partnership began in 2011, Cloud Nine Media has produced a range of films aimed at promoting Flying Start via its in-flight broadcasts.
These initial films helped to raise millions of pounds donated by passengers on board flights, but British Airways was concerned that audience engagement with Flying Start came to an end as soon as the plane had landed. In consultation with its Community Investment Department, in 2014 we began exploring how we could transform positive interest in Flying Start from a single offline experience into a longer-term and more valuable online relationship.
At Cloud Nine Media, we believe that telling compelling stories based on real lives and achievements is the best way to gain – and crucially keep – audiences’ attention. To resonate better with viewers at home, we wanted to focus in on the story of one individual child to create longer-term engagement with Flying Start from British Airways’ passengers.
So British Airways commissioned us to undertake a five-day shoot in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Filming in the favelas comes with its risks so we worked with a local from the project, Walter, to prepare the community and look out for trouble. As well as managing our local crew, we needed to find our star child who could best bring home the amazing work carried out at Inatos Children’s Community Centre (as supported by Flying Start).
So we followed a day in the life of seven-year-old Bruna as seen through her eyes and told in her words.
Back in the UK, we edited this footage to create two distinct films: Flying Start Rio and Bruna’s Story. Flying Start Rio is a high-impact one-minute film shown to passengers in flight as an introduction to Flying Start’s work in Brazil and, importantly, to act as a teaser campaign for the longer second film hosted on the Flying Start website which hosted a more indepth film. In Bruna’s Story, we created greater engagement by showing where donated money gets spent and inviting viewers to donate directly on the website.
As part of the campaign, we provided assets and redesigned the donation envelope handed to passengers in-flight, encouraging them to find out more about Bruna and Flying Start via online channels.
First aired to passengers on flights in 2015, Flying Start Rio was a huge success in driving traffic to the website to find out more about Bruna’s Story. Since it was uploaded, Bruna’s Story has attracted more than 80,000 views on YouTube, helping to increase donations via the Flying Start website. This new level of engagement has helped to bring the total passenger donations to Flying Start to more than £16 million.
After a successful campaign in 2015, we were commissioned to shoot a new film focusing on the achievements of Flying Start in Ghana for 2016. Again we adopted a day-in-the-life approach, this time to tell the story of nine-year-old Mohamed, who is able to stay in full-time education and attend after-school classes thanks to the support of the Flying Start programme.
Coming in 2018: Flying Start Jamaica!
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