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Brussels Airlines goes out of its way to give the ‘Extra Smile’

Conceptualised internally, the idea was to make a sequel of the ‘It’s a boy’ campaign on the occasion of the airline’s 15th birthday when the same boy also turned 15

Archit Ambekar | Mumbai | March 14, 2017

Brussels-Airlines-extra-smile Click on the Image to watch the TVC.

15 years ago a boy was born and it had to be communicated to Mr Smith who had just boarded a Brussels Airlines flight. Brussels Airlines, then known for being ‘passionate about you’, decided to communicate this message to Mr Smith while he’s just boarded the flight. A protagonist along with the airline staff ran through the airport to the base to give him the message. As the staff reached the base, the captain made an announcement -- Mr Smith, could you look outside, there is a message for you.’ The staff gathered to form ‘Mr Smith’ first followed by the message, ‘It’s a boy.’ Mr Smith almost jumped off his seat in excitement while he got the message.

While that campaign was executed way back in 2002, on its 15th anniversary, the airline brand decided to launch a similar message. This time with a happy birthday since the boy is now 15 years old.

Speaking about the heart-warming campaign, Geert Sciot, Vice-President, External Communication, Brussels Airlines, said, “The idea of this video did not come from an agency. It was the result of an internal brainstorm here in Brussels Airlines. In fact, we created a rather similar video more than 15 years ago (you can find it still on YouTube, it was called ‘It’s a boy’ and it was a big success) and we thought it was a good idea to make a sequel on the occasion of our 15th birthday. In ‘it’s a boy’, our staff members try to inform a passenger that his wife gave birth. This time we try to wish that boy – who has grown up now – a happy birthday.”

Sciot added, “We tried to make use of the same actors (all these actors are real Brussels Airlines staff members). The video is a great success as well.”

In the latest commercial, which is again internally conceptualised -- Mr Smith and his son, who is now 15 years of age, check in at the airport. While they’re at the Brussels Airlines counter, Mr Smith had a note on his passport which read, ‘Can you do it again?’ The lead protagonist (same staff member as in 2002) gets the signage and sends her staff the extra smile alert.

The staff run through the corridors of the airport to reach the base from where they’d conveyed their previous message. As the flight takes off, an announcement happens, ‘Mr Smith Jr, can you look outside please, there is a surprise for you.’ As Mr Smith Jr looks at the base, he sees that the staff first formed his name ‘Mr Smith Jr’ and they quickly changed to ‘Happy B’day.’ The boy was overwhelmed and he hugs his father who is sitting next to him. The campaign ends with a voiceover, ‘Brussels Airlines – we go the extra smile.’

The TVC:


Brussels Airlines is a service-driven airline and the brand is very much convinced that its service and staff make the difference and that their colleagues go the extra (s)mile for their customers. The video translates and demonstrates this corporate culture and approach.

For the record, Brussels Airlines will later this month start a new service between Mumbai and Brussels Airport. They had made a recruitment campaign earlier in December.

Recruitment campaign:


The airlines had also launched another video about their special livery aircraft, these aircrafts are dedicated to Belgian icons – Tintin comics, Belgian national football team Red Devils, Painter Rene Magritte and the Tomorrowland music festival.

Brussels Airlines four Belgian Icons:


Credit list:

Director: Wouter De Lange

Assistant Director: Willem Jones

DOP: Daan Bukman

First Assistant Camera: Pieter Geerardyn

Boom Operators: Nico Vandepoel, Rik Lievens

MUA: Goele Gonnissen, Itza Bocken

Runners: Sebastian Roemendael, Sebastian Schaevers

Sound Design: Feras Daouk

Music: Luca Pira

Editor: Wouter De Lange

VXF: Bart Winckers

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