Video: new Qantas frequent flyer campaign features NASA's Mars rover

By David Flynn, June 14 2013
Video: new Qantas frequent flyer campaign features NASA's Mars rover

Qantas has unveilled a new campaign intended to push the airline's frequent flyer program past the 10 million member mark.

Featuring a life-size replica of NASA’s Mars rover 'Curiosity' (the real machine is currently trundling around the red planet), the campaign is designed to showcase the many ways which members can earn points through avenues other than flying.

The first TV advertisements, shot in Sydney’s CBD and in outback Australia with a voice-over by legendary Australian actor Jack Thompson, will air this coming Sunday, June 16th.

Watch the new TV advert below:

Creating the advertisement was not without its challenges.

For the segments shot in Sydney's Qantas First Lounge, the 350kg replica of 'Curiosity' had to be disassembled in order to pass through airport security and then painstakingly reassembled on the floor of the lounge, with the process then repeated in order to get the motorised rover out of the airport.

The TV commercial will be followed by ads in digital, print and outdoor media.

"The campaign tagline 'For Every Journey' highlights that members have hundreds of opportunities to earn points across every day activities from going to the supermarket to going on holidays" explains Lesley Grant, CEO of Qantas Loyalty.

Sudeep Gohil, CEO of creative agency Droga5, said that securing the use of Curiosity from NASA had been a creative coup.

"Being able to use such a likeable and unique personality has made this campaign something really different. Curiosity moves, she makes eye contact and she communicates in a way that seems very human."

Shooting in progress for Qantas' latest advert
Shooting in progress for Qantas' latest advert

The campaign will run for six weeks, with the replica 'Curiosity' embarking on a national tour including roving through airport terminals, Qantas lounges and shopping centres.

The tour starts in Brisbane before moving to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

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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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Apr 2013

Total posts 16

What a waste of money in my opinion! Money better spent elsewhere....

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 526

It might be but don't forget that Qantas Frequent Flyer is one of the biggest revenue earners for Qantas. More money in means more money to be spent elsewhere.... hopefully!

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 149

Ausflyer is right on the money here (literally). An enormous number of the FF points sold by Qantas to their third-party partners are never actually redeemed, so they want to keep selling as many of the damn things as they can.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 May 2012

Total posts 120

Indeed.  QF please spend your $$ on innovation, improving the 'flying experience and service' for your customers would be a start not waste money on gimick's like this.

Looks like a really good campaign, can't wait to see it rolled out.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Jun 2013

Total posts 4

Qantas would better serve its current members by sorting out its FF arrangements with Emirates.

After travelling Business Class with EK over 2 months ago, still waiting for mileage to be credited to account despite lodging Missing Points report with QF.

19 Jan 2012

Total posts 427

This ad taken on its own is too smart for its own good - this may resolve as the pieces come together.

It is confusing since it talks about journeys and yet earning points doesn't require a journey...

...most critically it fails to create a sense of benefit (beyond simply earning points)...the benefit only comes on redemption of those points (not dealt with)...therein  a problem since QF want you to earn points (thats how they get the cash revenue) but don't want you to cash them in (it's only on redemption they take the financai liability)

...also relying on machine to create a sense of the human can be problematic unless you go down the chic benevolent robot route...

...the agency appear to have done some good work in the past so it will definitely be interesting to see how this takes shape...

...definitely more intriguing than the hopelessly tragi 90-somthing changes campaign!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 318

its great to see Qantas bringing back a variation of the theme song "I still call Australia Home"... !!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Dec 2012

Total posts 2

haha yeah, sort of the story with QANTAS at the moment.

Tries to do something new, finds out it's a waste of time and money/terrible marketing, goes back to the tried and tested.

Hopefully this means QANTAS might actually get back some of its identity.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jan 2012

Total posts 260

I saw this for the first time last night and I thought as an ad it was great. Wonderfully shot, subtle yet effective product placement, and a nice story. Strangest thing though, my eyes got a bit watery from watching it. A bit like the Emirates 'When is the last time you did something for the first time' ads did to me too.

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