Adrian Peter Tse
Mar 16, 2015

Nicole Kidman indulges in lazy Etihad campaign

GLOBAL - You’re a big glitzy airline brand. Tick. You manage to get a “globally respected” Australian Hollywood actress to be your brand ambassador in a major global campaign. Tick. What can possibly go wrong?

Client: Etihad

Agency: M&C Saatchi Sydney

Market: Global

Background: The TVC was shot onboard Etihad Airways’ new flagship Airbus A380 and in locations around the world, including various landmarks in Abu Dhabi. The TVC also features a digitally created scene of Kidman in the interior of the soon to be opened Louvre Abu Dhabi, celebrated architect Jean Nouvel’s futuristic showcase of modern architecture, influenced by the light and geometric patterns of the Emirate.

Press release quotes:

Peter Baumgartner, CCO, Etihad Airways: “Nicole Kidman, as a globally respected artist, was the perfect voice and face for our story, and embodies worldly sophistication, intelligence, originality, and elegance—values which form the foundations of the Etihad brand.” 

Tom McFarlane, founding creative director at M&C Saatchi Australia: “On the completion of a campaign I’m often asked what inspired me. The answers are many and varied, but in this case the inspiration came directly from the product itself. Who could not be inspired by the sheer elegance, style, and dare I say it, reimagining of this remarkable aircraft? Hopefully, all of which we have captured perfectly in this campaign.”

Campaign Asia-Pacific’s comments: Let’s look at the opening lines from the ad: “There are some people who are not content with moving things along. They want to take things further—tear up the plans and start again.” That last little bit is great advice! It should go in a self-help book, and then the creative team should look into it.

The problem with this ad is that it’s boring. Nicole Kidman is about as engaging as a mannequin without a head (that is actually more engaging than she is in this ad). The voiceover, which is in third-person, is distant, vague and self-indulgent, and they should have just showed people rubbing themselves up in baby oil on an Airbus A380.

The ad doesn’t make use of Kidman’s significant acting ability (when she’s at her best) and it doesn’t tell a story. The scene with medium rare steak at the 30-second mark was the only engaging thing in the video—and that’s because I’m hungry.



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