Qantas has unveiled a star-studded ad that marks the return of overseas travel with a glorious vista of Australia’s most scenic spots – and heart-tugging emotional reunions.
The airline launched its latest I Still Call Australia Home campaign on Friday – days after popstar Kylie Minogue teased her involvement with a short Instagram clip humming the Peter Allen classic.
Hugh Jackman, Ash Barty, Adam Goodes, Troye Sivan join Minogue in the rebooted campaign, along with Bangarra dancers and Qantas staff. There are no fewer than four choirs in the grand production – the Australian Girls Choir, National Boys Choir, the Gondwana Choir, and the airline’s own.
The latest ad comes more than 35 years after Qantas first launched an campaign using I Still Call Australia Home. The song has since become synonymous with the airline, which has used it many times since.
The advert also offers sweeping scenery. It was filmed pre-COVID at locations around Australia, from the spectacular Hutt Lagoon in Western Australia to the jagged cliffs of Cape Raoul in Tasmania.
Other scenes were filmed in Melbourne, Uluru, Hobart, Brisbane, Sydney, South Australia’s salt lakes, Longreach, the Whitsundays, Los Angeles, Tokyo and London.
But it is the joyous reunions with loved ones that also feature that are likely to tug hardest at the heart strings of many, as more Australians begin to travel domestically and overseas after two years of the pandemic.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said it was an ideal time to unveil the ad.
“The last major Qantas advert came as the country was rolling up its sleeves to be vaccinated so we could all reconnect, and it really struck a chord. Now that borders are finally open, and staying open, this is the perfect time to relaunch this Peter Allen classic as the national carrier’s anthem,” he said.
Qantas said domestic travel demand had strengthened significantly since February. Capacity for the airline and its budget arm Jetstar are expected to hit 110 per cent of pre-COVID levels at Easter – compared to an average of 40 per cent for the second half 2021.
International bookings for destinations such as Los Angeles, London and Hawaii also above pre-COVID levels and another boost is expected when New Zealand’s border opens to Australians from 12 April. Qantas has added new overseas routes in the past six months, including Perth-Rome and Melbourne-Delhi.
Mr Joyce said the full version of the ad was effectively a short film that highlighted Australia’s stunning natural beauty and unique culture, “while celebrating the incredible resilience that has really shone through recently”.
“After a very difficult two years, we’re focused on recovery and have a lot of exciting things in the pipeline, including several new international destinations, decisions on new aircraft and recruiting more people,” he said.
Qantas’ history with I still call Australia home
Former Australian of the Year and former AFL footballer Adam Goodes was filmed for the advert waist deep in Bondi Beach’s Icebergs ocean baths in the middle of winter. He said he was proud to be part of it.
“I’m honoured to be involved in something that celebrates our unique country and culture and will hopefully help the recovery of tourism operators by inspiring travellers to get out and explore all Australia has to offer,” he said.
The ad will begin screening in Australia on TV, billboards, print and digital sites from Sunday. It will also be shown on all Qantas international flights arriving into Australia.
In conjunction with the new campaign, the airline has launched an airfares sale across 70 domestic and international flights.