The new British Airways ad Fuelled by Love has moved many to tears and the adorable grandmother seems to remind everyone of their own grandmothers. The ad, which has gone viral and even been written about by The Wall Street Journal, has received more than 11 lakh hits on YouTube.
Masaan director Neeraj Ghaywan, who has directed the commercial, says that he had not expected this response. “It is simply baffling. We were not expecting this at all. The agency, SapientNitro, came up with this idea and we developed it. But the response has simply been amazing,” he says, adding, “The CEOs and VPs of many agencies have been congratulating me. I don’t think many people from the industry have seen in as yet, however I did get a call from Anurag Kashyap.”
If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the ad...
The director says that the emotional quotient of this ad is what is working its magic with the audience. “I feel that emotional connect goes a long way. This is why we are now coming with ads in the long format with a strong emotional narrative. Plus every child knows that a grandparent will always love you. We have used that here,” he says.
Surjo Dutt, who has scripted the ad, says that since they wanted to take a real life incident, there was a lot of work which went behind making the ad. “We had strictly decided to take a real life incident. So, this meant talking to our clients, the British Airways crew and listening to their stories and incidents. Since this is inspired from a real story, it was more challenging, as we could not go away from it much,” he says.
The grandmother, played by actor Uma Tembulkar, has become quite a favourite, and Dutt says that the agency was never keen on taking a known face for the ad. “The granny was discovered by Neeraj. From the moment we saw her, we knew it had to be her. The client also said yes immediately. The nature of the project was such that the adaptation had to be closest to reality. This is why we didn’t want a known face,” he says.