France Is Really Swinging In Air France’s Beautifully Crazy New Campaign

Bfff. Showing planes in airline ads? That’s so jejune.

Synchronized swinging, beautiful young people and floral wallpaper take center stage in “France Is In The Air”–an elegant and humorous new global ad for Air France which breaks on March 8.


Conceived to convey the airline’s unique French travel experience, it’s all about highlighting a positive, caring and inspiring France that reaches out around the world, according to its creators at agency BETC.

Air France’s market is both tough and competitive where all planes look, well, pretty much alike, the agency’s executive creative director Rémi Babinet explains.

“Communications for airlines tend to show planes, smiling stewardesses and comfy seats. It all looks the same,” he says. “We wanted to make people feel Air France’s unique spirit.”

The airline is “a flying embassy of the art de vivre that France stands for”, Babinet claims. And it’s not just about history or heritage.

“France has never been more creative and innovative in all kind of areas, be it fashion, music, dance, architecture or gastronomy,” he adds. “We are proud of this French touch and that’s what this film is about: that traveling on board Air France planes is about experiencing the French pleasures in life.”

Inspiration for the film’s distinctive look, style and feel came from an eclectic array of sources, including Jean Honoré Fragonard’s painting Les Hasards Heureux de l’Escarpolette (in English: The Swing) and the 1967 French musical Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (The Young Girls of Rochefort) as well as the work of US light and space artist James Turrell.


A key challenge was striking the right balance between the French spirit of creativity and the notion of rigorousness and discipline that has to be associated with an airline.

The end result evokes a brand that is both premium and approachable, classy, modern and fresh, Air France director of brand management and advertising Caroline Fontaine claims: “We want people to remember that flying with us is different, unique and a moment of pleasure a la française.”

Creative director was Jasmine Loignon. Copywriter was David Soussan and art director Marie-Eve Schoettl. The ad was directed by Clément Durou and Pierre Dupaquier, better known as We Are From LA, directors of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” promo–through production company Iconoclast.

The music used is “Warm in Winter” by Glass Candy.

About the author

Meg Carter is a UK-based freelance journalist who has written widely on all aspects of branding, media, marketing & creativity for a wide range of outlets including The Independent, Financial Times and Guardian newspapers, New Media Age and Wired.