British Airways Promotes Tourism with Models Painted as Alligators

In a well-advertised promotional tourism stunt that actually occurred a handful of weeks before the Brexit vote, British Airways decided to visibly and outrageously promote its current international routes to Florida in the United States. Travelers, especially looking for travel deals in an era where most people trust online travel site spokespeople and mascots than actual real-life travel agents, may not know about current travel deals or convenient air routes before buying tickets. So airlines, as they have always done in the past, promote their services as much as they can to the public.

What’s the Stunt?

On this promotional event occasion, British Airways decided to hire artist and make-up specialist Johannes Stoette to surreally paint 3 models to look like one alligator as they lay on the tarmac next to a soon-to-depart British Airways flight at Gatwick Airport in London. The stunt was designed to playfully startle the passengers on the flight and to bring attention to British Airways flight routes from London to Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. Three models were painstakingly and meticulously painted by Stoette over a period of 5 hours.

Strategy Behind

The three models were then strategically posed laying down on the tarmac of Gatwick airport. If you look closely at the picture, that is not one model posed to look like a crocodile, it is actually three models laying closely intertwined together. The photographer then photographed the models from angles and perspectives that make them look like one whole alligator. The models were then purposely and safely posed near a departing British Airways flight so the passengers could watch the photo shoot from the cabin windows.


Although the photo shoot occurred in late May 2016, a few weeks before the history-making Brexit vote that saw Britain exit the European Union, it is still fitting as tourism will definitively be of extreme importance to the Britain economy for the time being. The British pound has depreciated in value since Brexit and the in the short term, at least until Britain officially exits the E.U., there will be many travel deals and savings to be had when it comes to tourism there. The surreal photo op and tourism campaign were co-developed by British Airways and Florida authorities to promote travel deals and more tourism travel to Florida. The airline flies from Gatwick to Orlando 13 times a week, from Gatwick to Tampa 7 times a week and from Heathrow to Miami 14 times a week. Also, remember to take a look at the tarmac the next time you are on a British Airways flight. There might be a surreally wacky photo shoot going on right next to the plane.

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