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British Airways campaign taps into Canadian identity

British Airways’ new advertising campaign offers travel deals to people who can answer questions relating to Canadian identity correctly.

Do you know what a Double Double is? What about a tuque, or a two-four?

British Airways PLC is appealing to Canadian travellers' distinct sense of identity with a new advertising campaign that offers travel deals to people who can answer those questions correctly.

The airline is hoping to warm up to consumers with a bit of cheeky humour, in a competitive travel market ahead of the busy summer vacation season.

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The mini-quizzes will appear in ads online and on Facebook and Twitter, beginning Thursday. Those who feel compelled to specify that a chesterfield is a couch and not a cat, for example, will be greeted with the message, "Brilliant, you're Canadian!" and an offer of perks such as free hotel nights, connecting flights to other U.K. cities, or discounts on car rentals.

"You know, the Brits have a good sense of humour," said Caroline Titmuss, vice-president of marketing for British Airways.

"Canadians are proud when they travel, especially the younger audience. You see the maple leaf on the backpacks," Ms. Titmuss said. "...People don't want to be mistaken for Americans."

In advance of the quizzes, the company launched online and outdoor ads last week with slogans such as "Great offers for North Americans" with an asterisk specifying, "excludes Americans."

British Airways has increased its marketing spend in Canada this year. And the campaign comes as overall competition for Canadian travellers to Europe has intensified.

Canada is an attractive market for potential international travel: 64 per cent of citizens carry a passport, according to Passport Canada. British Airways is hoping to capitalize on the positive sentiment toward Britain exhibited by eight out of 10 Canadians, according to its research.

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