Video: is Qantas' new TV commercial a hit or a miss?

By David Flynn, December 11 2013
Video: is Qantas' new TV commercial a hit or a miss?

Qantas has unveilled a new advertising campaign aimed at getting back to the basics of why people choose to fly with the airline.

While timed to coincide with the launch of its new uniform this week, the TV commercial uses this as a springboard to assure travellers that "It's about more than a new look".

Ironically, following "You're the reason we fly", the new campaign is quite literally "All about Qantas".

“The reason we went with 'It’s About' is because it focuses on the things that matter most to our passengers" explains Olivia Wirth, Qantas Group Executive for Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs. "That’s arriving on time, in flight entertainment, food and wine and friendly service."

The TV spot also promotes the Qantas travel experience with an emphasis on smarter faster checkin, lounges (putting Sydney's first class lounge in the spotlight) and the Q Streaming wireless entertainment system.

Watch the new Qantas TV commercial below:

Other elements of Qantas' brand will be overhauled as part of the campaign and using a palette of colours from the new uniform, including the inflight Qantas magazine and safety video.

This is Qantas' first brand campaign since the airline ditched the short-lived You’re The Reason We Fly campaign in June this year, along with the Atlas theme created by Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns.

But with the new campaign in development for several months, Qantas had no idea it would be launched into the middle of a maelstrom over the airline's very future.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

09 Aug 2012

Total posts 21

Visually and technically, it's brilliant. However, i think it misses the point of being a tv commercial. It's need to be short, sharp and to the point. It has far too many aspects in terms of it asks too many questions. It leaves me wondering what point was it trying to make. Was it about new uniforms? New Systems? New Service?. When it brings in a new point, I find i can't recall what the one before was about. This ad would be brilliant if it was played pre-flight or in a public space where longer advertising is more suitable, but TV? It really is too long. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 580

Most of Qantas' TVCs have had both full and short versions. If you look on their YouTube channel, they have both up there for Qantas Cash, Qantas Frequent Flyer (the NASA robot) and the Qantas+Emirates partnership.

As for this ad, a lot can be cut from it to transform it into the short TVC format (15-30sec).

31 Aug 2013

Total posts 60

The long ad didn't give me a reason to consider them giving me any extra value so I doubt the short will be much more successful.  They need to make the point very clearly and very strongly, however this just wonders around the point.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 580

Just as I mentioned, Qantas now has TVC versions of this ad you their Youtube channel.

They've split it into three different viideos so far, "It's about..."

09 Aug 2012

Total posts 21

I get what you mean Peter however these shorter ads don't seem to go to air on the channels that a lot of people watch and a lot of people who go on youtube don't tend to go to the Qantas channel. They have a subscriber base of 12,000 and the number of views on their videos certainly don't indicate a large reach to their subscribers and general audience. 

Skywards Gold

21 Apr 2011

Total posts 54

"It's all about":

~ rude veteran staff that don't know the first thing about customer service

~ an aging fleet

~ overpriced fares caused by their high cost base, it's like a vicious cycle.

they need to take a page out of the US play book, go into "chapter 11" and restructure everything.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 784

Australia doesn't have "Chapter 11". 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2207

It's a miss.

Great cinematography, but it just does not have a 'grab' to it, missing a crucial part of television advertising. I didn't feel drawn into it, no matter how much I might try to like tarmac markings. It just doesn't have the same punch as recent Qantas Cash advertisement, which used one character using the card in a small number of vastly different ways - she's at home, she jumps on a Sydney CityRail train, she takes a domestic flight, she's on an A380, she goes to the shops in the UK - driving home the point that it is the "card for every journey". Tracking shots of the tarmac and zoomed shots of the lapel do not have the same grab, and centred bullet points are best left to PowerPoint presentations.

Very watchable, but it's a miss.

Ansett Global Rewards

30 Oct 2012

Total posts 16

I thought it was great! 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 318

I like it... again, it emphasizes the services you come to expect from Qantas.  Down to the basics of what it's about.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1244

Print ads ran in the Sydney Morning Herald today. 

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

14 Apr 2013

Total posts 327

I think its briliant. Its different than most other airline TVC's. 

19 Jan 2012

Total posts 427

Seriously, this advert is a student level production.

  • It's confused - one moment about the staff and then vaguely about the customer
  • It's a misfired attempt on a feature sell - modern selling is about value, not feature/benefit (not that it even really gets to grips with the benefit side
  • Clang - it's mainly about QF and not the customer, but should be the other way around
  • It dilutes the brand message by completely stepping away from other recent advertising concepts (what's happened to the martian rover pitch - that was marginally better conceived, but now dumped with hindsight?)
  • It screams "we lack confidence" by putting out such a navel gazing pitch
  • It literally doesn't get off the ground (since when has a taxiway centreline (yellow marking) become a metaphor understandable by the average flyer)
  • It uses the oldest part of the fleet (767s) for internal shots

A sorry effort!

This tells me QF management are losing the plot and getting into panic mode.

PS My opinions are based on some experience as a former marketing manager, proucer of multimedia marketing/training and trainer of sernior sales personnel...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 698

I have to agree PLATY, it had no emotional hook and spent too long on trying to make something out of the new uniform with that "we're so cool/hip" start (Virgin Australia did it much better on that aspect). Choice of background music dreadful.

I'm of the view that when it comes to marketing airlines, it's critical to go for emotional responses rather than just a set of stylised product shots. One of the greatest marketing campaigns (I Still Call Australia Home) barely glimpsed such stuff (and much the same with BA's famous marketing campaign).

It's a wasted amount of money, this campaign, and sure to disappear as fast as the Daniel John's ad.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Apr 2013

Total posts 16

I travel QF quite a bit both domestic and Internationally, i think the airline is on decline big time and customer service leaves a lot to be desired!! if they keep wasting money on producing crap like this, no wonder they are losing the amount of money they are!! 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2011

Total posts 186

I liked it, I much prefered this to that last ad with the "i want to kill myself music" where there was nothing to show it was for QF.

I like it showed stages of the journey.  It wasnt that different to other airline ad's.

09 Nov 2011

Total posts 88

It will take a lot more than new uniforms to overhaul Qantas. Unfortunately, aging aircraft and bitter staff don't go together with glossy uniforms. The staff are crabby and don't come close to the edge that Virgin has established. I was appalled to travel Qantas recently with my Company. Check in is now like the check out at Woolworths or Coles - DIY and very little staff presence. The Qantas Club is a joke. No seats, food buffet line up and then lacking selections. So ditch that and off to the bar - same thing - line ups. I then had to sit with a loud group on mobiles and virtual business deals whilst waiting to board. Quite frankly, it is probably more relaxing in the general terminal these days as opposed to the overcrowded Qantas Clubs. Boarding was fine - interesting change is that the crew have now adopted a Virgin trait of greeting you with your name, but that is where it stopped. Poker faced crew and very transactional service. One plump flight attendant seem to take pleasure in barking orders at passengers who dared to have a bag slightly out from under their seat or the back of their seat slightly reclined. The food was terrible and getting a drink was a chore at best for the crew. People on Saver fares with Virgin still pay for food, but at least you get what you want. The recent news of big trouble for Qantas is only going to compound crew sentiment and morale to the point where they will contribute to their own demise.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 442

I like it. Very aspirational. Much more positive than that depressing Daniel Johns campaign than made me think the sky was falling.

If Qantas cannot compete on price, frequency, fleet etc they need to think of something else to attract customers. They've done patriotic to death (I Still Call Australia Home was one of the best marketing campaigns I have ever seen), so now they are pitching that Qantas is an aspirational brand people WANT to fly, not because they have no choice. It's the same reason people pay more for luxury European cars when there is a cheaper Asian alternative.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Apr 2013

Total posts 16

this ad does not make me want to fly with QF.....i wouldn't think it would be attract a very many few....they are in more trouble than the early settles....and not even the Australian Government wants to help them! I wouldnt!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1379

Spends way too much time following a yellow line.

Apart from that the rest of the filming is good.


23 Jan 2013

Total posts 175

So, the first question I asked myself was 'who is this aimed at?' it's clearly aimed at the pointy end, which I think is a mistake. Qantas needs to regain economy passengers far more than business clientele. 

What they should have made is an ad that showcases seamless travel for all passengers, with a focus on the interiors of planes. Prospective flyers should be shown a product they want to use. I didn't see more than a blurred 3 second shot of a plane seat.

There was also no delineation between domestic and international in this ad. That's a mistake in my view. Qantas should be advertising differently for domestic and international air travel. Talk up the alliance with Emirates and the comfort of A380 travel. They should also (in a separate commercial) point out the seats and service one will receive on a domestic flight. 

While these kinds of ads look artsy, they lack substance. Passengers want to know what the seat is like, what service they will get on board and how they will get all that for a bargain. 

Qantas has misfired yet again. 

19 Jul 2012

Total posts 13

What? Did I hear someone say "Everyone will shine" Really? "Absolutely"

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 May 2013

Total posts 12

I quite like it, although I can understand some of the negative comments here.

Does anyone else think it's quite refreshing to see a staff member of Asian descent featured in the advertisement? When I first saw her in the promotional pics from the uniform launch, I thought it was nice that Qantas recognises its multicultural workforce.  Do you think there is any reason in particular why they chose her to feature so prominently? 


04 Oct 2013

Total posts 4

This bears a striking resemblence to the Virgin Australia re-launch TVC of 2011.

Crew walking through terminal in new uniforms, lounge shots, tarmac shots... much better music used here though.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 526

I like it... It comes across with a certain amount of class and style. It doesn't shout out at anything but it's an easy commercial to watch... Is it memorable? Not so sure about that... The best Qantas ad was "I still Call Australia Home" - You didn't have to watch the ad to know it was Qantas.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Oct 2013

Total posts 93

While it has some aesthetic visual shots, I think it's a poorly executed ad. Rubbing against the grain here, I actually think the "You're The Reason We Fly" was much more effective, both strategic and production-wise, in positioning QF as a "premium, first-tier" airline (plus I'd take ATLAS over this nightclub music, that's already taken up by VX).

From a marketing perspective, when you have headlines reporting your record loss or dissatisfaction of customers jumping ship, this is the wrong campaign to make. At a time like this, you need to address negative connotations - that you actually care for your customers and staff (which isn't true really), and to conjure and accentuate positive ones and to create a point of differenciation - such as the new J product. This is just sideskirting all the issues that audiences percieve, and when this ad is going to follow up after a damning report on national news, this is dog awful.

And PLATY is right; this is a student-level production. It's obvious that the marketing strategy is completely wrong (or probably non-existant), and I'd like to see which agency was responsible for this or if it was done in-house. Also, this only confirms my beliefs - Wirth is the QF Marketing equivalent of Joyce - completely disillusioned and inept... even after the events of 2011, she hasn't really learnt anything. When Joyce goes, she needs to go too.

I worry for QF - if they just fix their bloody marketing, they'll have one less thorn on their back, but they still produce stuff like this!

10 Dec 2013

Total posts 1

Many elements of the commercial have been plagiarised from Swiss International. The Qantas Frequent Flyer commercial ( NASA Robot) is a far superior production! 


22 Mar 2012

Total posts 200

It's very good but not outstanding. It seems like a modernised, revitalised version of the traditional adverts, ill give it that. My only issue with it is that it doesn't strike that same patriotic chord- however some may argue that is dated now anyway.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 211

I think it's great. To me this says it's about the customer, not the company.

The one thing Qantas has to do is stop sending Jetstar o/s concentrate on getting the service right o/s and let jet star be the local cheap airline this is where most of Qantas's money is going to to prop up jetstars o/s service.

The ad  did not appeal to me at all as jhy98 said  is Qantas aim to take the international fleet over with Asian staff and leave Australians to man the ground Facilities. Internally it is a shamble you can book a Qantas flight and have some poor person book a Jetstar flight and still end up on a Qantas plane or you can End up on a jetstar flight. They need to keep Jetstar as the cheaper airline and concentrate on getting quality of service and reasonable prices back. The whole Ad lack direction it did not say what we offer you the customer only what i want you to percieve what i am doing.

Malaysia Airlines - Enrich

04 Sep 2013

Total posts 2

"But with the new campaign in development for several months"

How can this ad take several months to make?

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