Turkish Airlines’ Stunning New Short Film, “The Journey”

Filed Under: Turkish, Videos

Advertising during the Super Bowl isn’t cheap, and the companies that do typically focus on making ads interesting, rather than focusing purely on “selling” their products.

Turkish Airlines was one of the companies that took out an ad during yesterday’s Super Bowl (I was asleep — my personal Super Bowl was the “LaLaPaRUza” episode of Ru Paul’s Drag Race a couple of weeks ago #TeamTrinity). The 30 second clip shows what almost looks like a trailer for a spy movie, with a woman chasing someone else around the world.

So at the same time, Turkish Airlines released the short film that this ad is in reference to through their social channels, called “The Journey.” I’d say the trailer was pretty effective, given that Turkish already has millions of views for this short film across their social platforms.

Here’s the six minute short film (I’ll share my thoughts below, so if you don’t want any spoilers, watch this now and then keep reading below):

This short film was really, really well done, in my opinion… ish.

I spent the first 90% of the film just marveling at the airplanes, the airport, the scenery, etc. Istanbul is such a gorgeous city that has fallen off the radar for so many Americans in recent years, and as I saw this I said “OMG I need to go back this summer.”

So in terms of the shots and scenery, this is one of the most well done short films I’ve seen in a long time, and it does a brilliant job promoting the airline and destination, which is really what Turkish Airlines and Turkey need right about now.

Then I got to the end of the film, and was of course left with the job of drawing my own conclusions. So many short films end this way, and it reminds me very much of 10th grade English class, where my teacher would always make us read into stuff that wasn’t there, in my opinion. “Well what did the author really mean?” “I dunno, why couldn’t the author just tell us?”

I’m curious what you guys take away from this film. Here are my conclusions:

  • Turkish Airlines flies everywhere (since she can chase the other lady around the world on them), and they’re a good airline, Istanbul is a beautiful city, etc.
  • I think the biggest takeaway is that this spy is actually enjoying following her “target” around the world, presumably given that she gets to fly Turkish Airlines everywhere, since she smiles when she asks her boss at the end “do you think this is fun for me?”

But of course that still leaves a lot of questions. How serious of a target is she following? Why does the target tell her where she’s going next? Why does she even follow her from place to place if she has no intention of catching her? Is there collusion here?!

What do you make of Turkish Airlines’ “The Journey” short film?

  1. What Turkey really needs right now is an end to the Erdogan abuse of human rights, including particularly freedom of the press. I am not one to “boycott” destinations (or I probably couldn’t stay home either), so I’d still go and would recommend Turkey for its many desirable features as a place to visit. But to say better promotion is what the country really needs is definitely to take a narrow view.

  2. I bet you the 2 ladies are in it together, that’s why the second one tells the First Lady everywhere she’s going.

  3. The shots of Istanbul were nice, and I agree that it’s an amazing city, but I felt somewhat bored by the midway of the video. The writing/plot doesn’t go anywhere and it didn’t seem that creative. As advertising or publicity campaigns go it was OK but not great.

  4. I’ll be on that TK66 inaugural flight to Bali!! But why weren’t they featuring the new J seat on the 787?!

  5. Stupid and thoroughly dumb…a waste of T-lira. People are not going to Istanbul these days because it has a thoroughly repulsive political regime. Not to mention in realityTK’s FAs are among the laziest in the air offering a profunctory level of drinks/meal service after which they vanish for most of the flight (particularly in business class). For 90% of travelers the new airport will be a hassle to get to/from and cabs/limos outrageously expensive with few alternatives.

  6. I’m not clear why this blog is promoting travel to Turkey at this time. For all the deniers please don’t call the State Department when you have a problem in Turkey. The US State Department current travel advisory is :

    Reconsider travel to Turkey due to terrorism and arbitrary detentions. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/turkey-travel-advisory.html

    The clearly states US citizens are being detained for no reason.

  7. What can I say? I am speechless. It’s not just a movie. It’s not just an advertisement. It’s all of it together, directed by one of the best film directors in the world. This is a great initiative to get out from the box and improve your image a million times. Well done Turkish. Well done!

  8. I love all the Americans (yes one can tell) spouting off about political this and that! It’s no different than US policies. Same effect at the human level, so please, enough!!

  9. “People are not going to Istanbul these days because it has a thoroughly repulsive political regime.”

    I spent a wonderful month there last year, knowing that my friends and their families still need to exist and frankly the thoroughly repulsive political regime with bigger fangs is based in Washington, D.C.

  10. I think my chances are traveling to Turkey and back are better than my chances of walking down to the corner convenience store to get a gallon of milk and returning to my apt in Chicago without any harm.

  11. My takeaway from the video: for airport transfers in Istanbul, from the airport it’s okay to take a car, but going to the airport you need a helicopter.

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