It's all about attitude baby

It's all about attitude baby

If you’re embarking around the world in a hot-air balloon, don’t forget the toilet paper.
— Richard Branson

The London Eye is a magnificent attraction on the banks of the River Thames.

At the time of its construction in 1999, it was the largest Ferris wheel in the world.

Its size and planned resting position on the river’s edge meant it had to be floated into position first and then raised into place.

One of the original owners was the airline British Airways, so the wheel was officially known as the British Airways London Eye.

Early one morning, Sir Richard Branson was informed that the construction team were having problems raising the wheel.

As the owner of Virgin Atlantic (BA’s main rival), the quick-thinking entrepreneur saw an unmissable opportunity for his brand.

He made a telephone call to his airship company located just outside of London.

On the Eye’s official launch day, he instructed them to fly a blimp over the wheel to deliver a special message.

As the press gathered on the 31st of December 1999 to witness the wheel being raised into its final position, an airship flew into view.

Attached to its side was the slogan ‘BA Can't Get It Up!!’ written in capitals.

What was meant to be an excellent PR opportunity for British Airways ended up as a joke at its expense.

It was a stroke of marketing genius and a textbook example of a brand speaking authentically.

Creative leadership like this requires bravery and a tolerance for risk.

Any other large airline would never have dared to issue such a cheeky message.

Have you come across any other inspired PR stunts? Please share them in the comments section below.

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