Featured three times before during a commercial break of the Super Bowl, one of the world’s most watched sports events, Turkish Airlines addressed the world with its fourth commercial focusing on Istanbul and Istanbul Airport.

The Super Bowl, the final game of the National Football League (NFL), may look like a competition exclusive to the United States of America, but it’s actually a match excitedly awaited and watched in many countries across the world. Turning into a visual feast, the Super Bowl garners nearly as much attention as the FIFA World Cup or the European Football Championship with the participation of legendary teams such as the New England Patriots, the New York Giants, the Denver Broncos, and the Baltimore Ravens, and halftime show performances by the likes of Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé. The event attracts the entire nation and millions of people from all across the world to the screen. Therefore, each edition of the Super Bowl also means a unique platform for commercial campaigns, especially for global companies, as a result of the extremely high viewership.
One of the world’s five most watched sports events, the Super Bowl’s viewership often exceeds 150 million -keep in mind that this number only comprises those who watch the game on TV and does not include those following the Super Bowl and the commercials on social media. For instance, the Turkish Airlines commercial, released at the 2017 Super Bowl, which featured Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman, continues to appeal.
This year’s Super Bowl on February 3 witnessed a competition between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams, ending in favor of the Patriots (13-3) who also broke a record by making it to the NFL play-offs for 10 consecutive seasons. At the end of the breathtaking game, the 41-year-old Tom Brady of the Patriots earned the title of the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl while coach Bill Belichick made it to the final for the ninth time in the last 18 years.
Millions of people around the world watched the final game held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, which has a capacity of 71,000 people, as well as the halftime show by Travis Scott, Bigboi and Grammy Award-winning band Maroon 5, and the commercial breaks, the total value of which reach nearly 500 million USD. One should also keep in mind that the companies featured in the commercial breaks strive to keep the audience’s attention by releasing commercials which are products of a meticulous and ambitious production effort. While the teams prepare to give the game their best, the companies compete with each other with powerful commercial productions.
Turkish Airlines appeared in a commercial break at this year's Super Bowl with a new commercial titled The Journey. Thanks to the film, which was directed by famous director Ridley Scott and led by Sylvia Hoeks and Aure Atika, the national flag carrier emphasized the perfect concord between its brand, Istanbul, and the world’s biggest airport built from the foundations up.
With its location at the center of three continents, Istanbul enables Turkish Airlines to (currently) reach 306 cities around the world and passengers to travel wherever they want with the airline that flies to more countries in the world than any other. This is a huge advantage for intercontinental passengers. Another advantage is that Istanbul is a transfer hub that enriches travels with its historic, natural, cultural, and artistic heritage.
The commercial The Journey brings all these advantages together like a short story. Sylvia Hoeks and Aure Atika fly to Istanbul with Turkish Airlines and, at the end of the film, to Bali -this is a reminder of the global carrier’s wide flight network, Istanbul Airport’s comfortable and central location, and Istanbul’s touristic value.
If you haven’t watched the film released during the Super Bowl, you can watch it on the inflight entertainment system (IFE), by searching “A Ridley Scott Film: #THEJOURNEY” on the Internet, or on YouTube by scanning the QR code on the previous pages with your mobile device. But let us give you a summary of the story. The film begins with a mysterious scene in which Hoeks watches Atika, both Business Class passengers on a Turkish Airlines flight about to land in Istanbul.
After the landing, the passengers head for the exits. Meanwhile, Hoeks notices the notebook Atika leaves in her seat and sees her own portrait in its pages. She starts following Atika, who looks quite mystical and moves very fast. Their chase begins at Istanbul Airport and continues in Istanbul’s signature locations from Bebek to Ortaköy, Şerefiye Cistern to Çırağan Palace, Galata Tower to the Bosphorus. Despite it all, Hoeks fails to catch up with Atika. In the end, their paths cross once again at Istanbul Airport as Hoeks follows the mysterious woman into a Turkish Airlines plane to Bali.
Believing that a film’s success is primarily based on the strength of its story line, Ridley Scott succeeds in planting both questions and wonderful sceneries of Istanbul into the minds of the audience with this puzzling movie. It’s possible to see this in social media posts. One should also keep in mind Scott’s hints. He says, “With its wonderful geography intertwined with the sea, Istanbul gives inspiration to a story. By offering a strong background to my story, Istanbul excitingly and magnificently brought the main characters together.” The Bosphorus, Dolmabahçe Palace, Galata Tower, Şerefiye Cistern, the Blue Mosque, or Topkapı Palace… These are all beautiful and impressive places which promise each traveler a unique story.
Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee M. İlker Aycı said, “We invite those who saw the breathtaking Istanbul views in the film released during the Super Bowl on Sunday to experience the Turkish hospitality at our new home in Istanbul Airport.”
We hope that your exploration around Istanbul is as exciting as that of Sylvia Hoeks and Aure Atika.

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