Ridley Scott’s New Turkish Airlines Commercial

Iconic British film Director Ridley Scott known for classics such as Alien (1979), Blade Runner (1982), Thelma and Louise (1991), Gladiator (2000), The Martian (2015) and many more recently returned to directing commercials after a 15 year absence. Ridley Scott’s new Turkish Airlines commercial is part thriller/part advertisement. Called The Journey, it recently debuted at the 2019 Super Bowl.

Scott who has directed thousands of commercials over the years was inspired to return to the genre by the city of Istanbul. “With its beautiful topography surrounded by water, Istanbul is an inspiring city to build a story around. The city is a powerful backdrop to the story that brings together the main characters in an exciting and spectacular way, much as Istanbul has done for generations.” according to Scott. 

Sylvia Hoeks, known for her role in Blade Runner 2049, stars alongside Aure Atika and key Istanbul sights such as Çırağan Palace, Basilica Cistern, Ortaköy Square and Istanbul Airport. Istanbul Airport hosted part of the shoot with a cast of 250 people while the film in total starred 500 actors. 

The Journey is a thriller cleverly designed to showcase Turkish Airlines, Istanbul and the new Istanbul Airport, which will be the world’s largest aviation hub with an annual capacity of 200 million passengers. Flying to more countries than any other airline, Turkish Airlines currently connects 306 destinations in 124 countries and will continue expanding as it moves its hub from the current Istanbul Ataturk Airport to the newly opened Istanbul Airport. The film also features onboard scenes which portray Turkish Airlines’ new uniforms and new cabin layouts.

When a Commercial is a Film

The Journey is an excellent blend of entertainment and education about Turkish Airlines and Istanbul. For this project, four promotional versions, a six-minute cinematic short film and a behind-the-scenes special were created to showcase the entire experience including interviews with the director and cast.

Here’s the six-minute film.

And the fascinating Behind-the-Scenes documentary

Ridley Scott’s new Turkish Airlines commercial is a brave and innovative campaign. With a large budget, strong cast and crew and Scott’s talent, Istanbul looks amazing. We have never seen Istanbul so beautifully portrayed.