Hugh Hudson parodies self in new Silverjet ad

More faces...but this time it's film director Hugh Hudson (Oscar winning Chariots of Fire) who has remade his epic British Airways spot ‘Face’ for the UK business class airline Silverjet. They are the airline that recently made that cheeky girl on girl mile-high viral too.

The original BA ads were on TV for five years in the old mass media world and watched by approximately 600 million people in 70 countries. The original spot featured a cast of thousands making up the face and the globe. The new Silverjet spot is the similar but slightly different. See the BA ad here.

As well as the other BA spot ‘Island’, Hudson is famous for directing the classic spots for Fiat ‘Handbuilt by Robots’, Courage Best ‘Gertcha’, the Benson & Hedges cigarette ‘Swimming pool’, and Cinzano “airplane”. More Silverjet spots, including a "making of" can be viewed here.

(Thanks to Damiano of RSA Films, the company who produced the new spot, for the tip.)

Director: Hugh Hudson

Production company: RSA Films

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Dabitch's picture

That totally had me thinking it was the British Airways ad for the few first seconds. You are my witness, Caff.

Andreas-Udd's picture

Could Damiano of RSA Films sort us adgrunts out with a Quicktime copy of the film? Youtube gives me a rash.

caffeinegoddess's picture

I've already asked :D

Dabitch's picture

She's a mean lean caffeine-fueled-machine.

Andreas-Udd's picture

Thank you dear goddess, you're like calamine lotion to my youtube hives.

caffeinegoddess's picture


RLDavies's picture

Haven't seen the ad yet, but have just been reading this article in Private Eye's "Ad Nauseam" column:

A TV campaign for an airline launches this week that may seem rather familiar.

Silverjet, the cut-price club-class operator, has come up with an almost exact recreation of British Airways' 1898 "Face" spot. It features the same locations, the same soundtrack (the "Flower Duet" from Delibes' Lakme), and for good measure they've even drafted in the original director, Hugh Hudson.

Unusually for adland, however, this isn't a shoddy knock-off; it's deliberate. The sting in the tail, such as it is, is that rather than the 600 extras who made up BA's smiling, winking face, here there are just four -- the point being that Silverjet offers exclusivity compared to BA's cattle herding.

The ad assumes that every potential Silverjet customer saw and remembers the BA ad from 18 years ago. That's an expensive gamble, but also a telling clue, because this is a classic example of an ad made as much for people in adland as for anyone else. Points are being scored at BA's expense, but it's not just Silverjet that is doing the beard-tweaking.

Silverjet's advertising agency is M&C Saatchi. That's the same M&C Saatchi which held the BA account for more than 20 years and, when it was Saatchi and Saatchi, created the "Face" ad in the first place. Then, in late 2005, it lost the account in high dudgeon. So who's really having a go at BA here -- its rival Silverjet, or piqued top brass at M&C?

Dabitch's picture

The real question is... Is Graham Fink asking for a cut of the pay for this ad since they're recycling his idea long after he's left the saatchi camp? ;)

Dabitch's picture

Update - non youtube ad sorted for y'all. You're welcome. Sorry about the delay, we ask at once, but they can take time to respond with a file for us.