Ad Nut
Jul 19, 2016

Airbus pulls a 'McWhopper': 'Congratulates' Boeing

What's next? Squirrels and dogs as friends?

As Ad Nut's US colleagues report, Boeing has been making a lot of noise this year celebrating its 100th anniversary. So the Airbus Group released the above video addressing its archrival’s milestone.

After a long and ominous buildup that makes it seem like a wicked burn is about to be unleashed, the video turns out to be a bunch of Airbus people congratulating Boeing on its anniversary and thanking the rival company for being a good competitor, because that makes both companies better.  

What's with all this peace, love and understanding? It makes Ad Nut feel a little sick, to be honest. 

But wait! Turns out, like the McWhopper campaign, this apparent peace offering is actually something of a wolf in sheep's clothing. The video is the brainchild of Clay McConnell, head of communications of Airbus Group, Inc., the Americas subsidiary of the Airbus Group, who said:

In discussing how we could position ourselves vis a vis Boeing on its 100th anniversary, we determined that we really wanted to leverage their momentum and the attention paid to their anniversary to position Airbus as an innovative, global, forward-looking and diverse company that worked on really cool stuff.

So it's not so much a heartfelt congrats as a heartfelt attempt to steal a bit of the rival's thunder. Hooray! The brilliant part is that couching it in friendly terms leaves Boeing with no other choice but to be gracious about it—unless it wants to end up looking petty and curmudgeonly, like McDonald's did in the McWhopper situation. Boeing made the smart choice, less than 48 hours after the video was released and got more than 2 million views on Facebook:

Ad Nut wholeheartedly supports this trend of backhanded compliments and looks forward to other brands issuing their competitors passive-aggressive best wishes.

Ad Nut will never get used to the idea of dogs and squirrels as friends, though. 

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