Qantas reveals new I Still Call Australia Home ad


The weekend saw the updated version of Qantas’ celebrated I Still Call Australia Home ad unveiled in a special show on Seven.  

The two minute version of the ad – created by Singleton Ogilvy & Mather – opens with a young Aboriginal boy before the rest of the tune switches to the English version of the Peter Allen tune.

There is also a 90s and two 60s cuts of the ad on the Qantas YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, Qantas chief Alan Joyce has revealed plans for Qantas’ marketing in the coming months today in The Australian.


  1. Toby Forage
    23 Aug 09
    8:50 pm

  2. It’s a nice gesture to use an indigenous kid to kick off the ad, but it’s mis-representative of the way things are in Australia. I’d love to hear the Aboriginal community’s reaction to this ad. I’ve always been so impressed by the way New Zealand is proud of its indigenous roots, and baffled at why Australia is the opposite. Sure, there are plenty of people that are interested in it, but it is never a selling point for the tourism authorities here, as far as I can tell – it’s all about beaches and weird wildlife. When I was in Vietnam, and told people I live in Australia, all they said was “ahh, kangaroo”. In India, all they did was reel off the cricket team. Not one of them said “aboriginals”. So I guess this is a roundabout way of saying the ad sits a bit uncomfortably with me.

  3. JoeKar
    23 Aug 09
    9:26 pm

  4. It is a weird strategy to say the least: a confusion of playing the ‘domestic card’ and re-enforcing Qantas’s Australian-ness, when Qantas’s business need is to fill overseas flights (including all those Business Class seats which are allegedly increasingly empty).

    To give Qantas credit, where credit is due, there has always been a strong Aboriginal theme through its branding, but to hang its new campaign on extending the emotional heart-strings pull isn’t going to work – plus the extended version TV ads will only increase marketing costs.

    Qantas needs to focus on price where it is being totally outgunned by Etihad, Singapore Airlines – and other potential new entrants to its markets, and not on extending a reminder that it is the ‘home brand’ to fly internationally.

  5. The Worst of Perth
    23 Aug 09
    9:26 pm

  6. But what does it get them? Something to address the widespread and growing hatred of the brand would be more to the point. Their new planes look years away still and everyone hates having to board the duds they have now. These days a plane shouldn’t be allowed to take off without decent seat back entertainmnet. I had one of theose screens far away on the roof jobs last time I was forced to fly with them. The ad will just remind people that “not crashing yet” is the only string Qantas has left to their bow.

  7. Fox Woods
    24 Aug 09
    8:57 am

  8. I agree with the all of the above – it didn’t seem the time to continue the same campaign, it seemed very much the time for a new approach.

  9. Sully
    24 Aug 09
    9:44 am

  10. One of the best things about the campaign is continuity.

    Too often when a brand falters, the immediate action is to change what was a relatively successful advertising direction. I think that the mass market will appreciate the changes and react positively. Although it lacks some of the pace of the original, it shows a some evolution.

    The real success of the brand in the next few years will be in addressing the issues of service and price in the face of toughening competition. Being able to see the ad in the seat-back entertainment being top of the list for most frequent travellers.

  11. adman
    24 Aug 09
    10:29 am

  12. I’m a fan of Qantas and continuity of campaigns as referred to by Sully, but I question the value of continuing this campaign in the same form now. Qantas customers want Qantas to change. So, whilst there might be a whole lot of new stuff going on at Qantas that we’re not aware of, all this says to me is that nothing’s changed. There’ll always be room for the Choir commercial, but what Qantas Frequent Flyers want is a dynamic airline flying towards the future not one that seems bedded in the past.

  13. Anon
    24 Aug 09
    11:07 am

  14. Gee they can’t win can they … if they don’t use an Aboriginal they would get blasted for it, and they use one with the same result! I think the little boy is amazing and incredibly talented. My bet is that the Aboriginal community would be proud of him and his talent! Why can’t we stop seeing this a ‘token’ gesture and start embracing the diversity and applaud it. I, for one, love it!

  15. Tim Nicholas
    24 Aug 09
    11:20 am

  16. There should be more debate around “is the big, expensive brand TVC still an essential part of the marketing mix”. Many would argue it’s not. QF research may prove otherwise (at least to justify the production cost which must be close to $1m).

    We can watch these beautifully shot TVCs and we don’t mind listening to those marvelous children’s voices. But does it all matter when too often their services are delayed/cancelled, prices are not competitive, jobs are cut, etc.

    The media environment has changed so dramatically that advertisers need to reassess how they go about building/maintaining their brand image when it is taking such a battering in the ‘delivery’ of the good or service. The success – or failure – of these TVCs must ultimately be judged in context with other tactics QF uses to address the serious fall in brand equity thay appear have suffered over the past 10 years.

  17. JeffD
    24 Aug 09
    12:39 pm

  18. It is too long and too weird. They have over-tried, and destroyed it. What lanquage is the kid singing in? I actually know the answer, but who else would? What country would know? And how many aussies would even know? 1 out of 5 stars. And it gets the one ebcause it;s Qantas, but just barely.

  19. Robert A
    24 Aug 09
    1:17 pm

  20. Great production values, but so far from the mark! It’s as if Qantas really no longer understands what its customers want and how people perceive the brand… This ad might be tourist eye-candy, but how many of these places do their planes actually fly to? More importantly, customers want – as previous comments above state – newer, better planes, improved cabin crew staff attitudes (just fly VBlue, Emirates, Singapore, even Air NZ and spot the difference), planes that actually depart on time and arrive on time, edible food (or none at all; it doesn’t really matter)…. This ad doesn’t give one compelling reason to fly Qantas except to infer “hey we know we’re a crap airline right now but we don’t mean to be so please support us because we’re Australian….” Sorry, but I agree with JeffD – 1 out of 5. A waste of $1m+!

  21. charligh
    24 Aug 09
    1:58 pm

  22. Too try hard O&M, too try hard! Awful…

  23. Dave the gay art director
    24 Aug 09
    2:01 pm

  24. Hey # 8 – TIm Nicholas – if they ad only cost $1 million, they got a bargain – it would have cost weight more than that I reckon.

    All the aerial photography, helicopter hire etc would have been expensive and transporting the crew and equipment to remote locations ain’t cheap.

    I reckon it would be much closer to $2 million or more (and that’s assuming they don’t count the cost of the flights as I assume Qantas provides them).

    Hell I have done much simpler ads that cost $1million (OK the song cost $300K so make that $700) for a 3 day shoot in 6 different suburban locations in one city.

  25. the dude
    24 Aug 09
    2:04 pm

  26. In response to Toby Forage,

    The reason why us white Kiwi’s are proud of our indigenous roots is because they are a lot bigger then us.. have you not seen how big Ma’a Nonu’s thighs are? I like the ad – stirring and emotive and i’m sure will work well in the international market. The Kiwi’s know that Air NZ could be better because we see and hear the problems with the airline, much as you do in Australia. I agree with Tim, the days of the big TVC’s are seriously numbered and Qantas should be looking at more targeted approach to consumers rather then a lot of media wastage we’re seeing from throwing a 30/60 second ad up on traditional TV and hoping the right people are going to be sitting at home to see it. The problem with Qantas and a lot of brands at the moment if you showed them in their true light it would make for a pretty poor ad – you can’t bullsh*t the consumers anymore, they know what’s going on so good luck to them and Singo’s – if they are willing to spend the money i’m sure STW will spend it for them!!

  27. anon
    24 Aug 09
    3:26 pm

  28. I hated it – the song/music wasn’t mixed very well, and the aboriginal voice at the start was confusing at best…

    I like the older ads much more than this one.

  29. Dave the gay art director
    24 Aug 09
    3:38 pm

  30. Agree with #14 – this ad doesn’t seem to have the same impact as the earlier ones.

    It’s nice to be inclusive with the aboriginal lad, but it would have been nice if he could have starred in one of the more moving and emotional ads..

  31. Sean Fergusen
    24 Aug 09
    3:47 pm

  32. Why? Of all the fashion choices, of all the capable and talented designers in Australia, why does Qantas dress the kids up a waiters?


  33. Anonymous
    24 Aug 09
    4:09 pm

  34. it still brings tears to my eyes, despite what everyone says
    although, i admit, it does a better job for australia tourism than it does for qantas
    compare this with where the bloody hell are you…

  35. DM
    24 Aug 09
    8:54 pm

  36. This is one of the most prominent and mainstream featuring of an Australian language I can think of. That alone is worth applauding. I don’t agree that it’s tokenistic- ads use tokens and icons by definition. Ending with the Australian language is an impressive move.

  37. missy
    25 Aug 09
    12:07 pm

  38. I have to say I liked the ad, flagrantly expensive and gratuitous as it is!

    I’m with the guys on the continuity of the theming, it reinforces the brand but the visuals still bring a new freshness. The aboriginal child opening the ad is well placed, it is inclusive and not discriminatory. This isn’t New Zealand, Australia will never acheive the synonymous relationship with the country and indigenous culture as the later it’s addressed by a country, the more challenges you face, so brands shouldn’t be criticised for trying.

    Though I’m from abroad living here a couple of years, I actually felt the advert gives the impression of inclusiveness, as if it’s saying ‘no matter where you’re from, you’re here in Australia now and this is your home’ as well as the other way around for Aussie expats, a nice touch whether intended or not.

    Now if only I was one of the directors of the media buying agency…!

  39. mumbrella
    25 Aug 09
    12:33 pm

  40. Having travelled on Qantas a couple of times this week, the campaign certainly deserves a hat-tip for the level of integration.

    As I walked along the airbridge to my plane (that’s a word I learned this morning when ours didn’t turn up), there was a string of posters featuring the actors from the ad, each with a different line from the song.

    The inflight TV featured the making-of-the-ad programme that went out on Seven at the weekend,

    And of course, at both ends, the airports werre dominated by the outdoor component.

    Very efficiently done.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  41. Wolfie Rankin
    25 Aug 09
    1:44 pm

  42. This should be our National Anthem.

  43. George Organ
    25 Aug 09
    2:42 pm

  44. I believe the term for this is ‘jumping on the “sorry” bandwagon’

  45. John Wang
    25 Aug 09
    9:27 pm

  46. I love seeing the indigenous boy as the central character.
    I love seeing the cultural diversity in the kids chosen.
    When we honour our heritage and present a better reflection of our multicultural society, I feel even more proud to be an Australian.
    I love the power of music & visual images to unite and inspire.

  47. darren
    25 Aug 09
    10:40 pm

  48. i have to agree with john wang it was great seeing the indigenous boy starting off the song he has a great voice and like seeing different cultural in the children chosen .proud to be australian

    well done

  49. BG
    26 Aug 09
    10:51 am

  50. A small tug on the heartstrings of everyday Oztraylians using kids. They’ll love it. Will it mean they fly Qantas more? No, they’ll still pick the cheapest carrier.

    It really feels like this is just a tarted up version of a 10 or 15 year old ad.

  51. coulddobetter
    26 Aug 09
    10:55 am

  52. I flew from Melbourne on Monday and saw the ad on washed out screens with a broken headset. Last week I watched 20 minutes of in flight news before I realised the tape was three days old.

  53. daniel
    26 Aug 09
    4:11 pm

  54. Is it a good Qantas ad? Maybe.
    Would this be a good “Tourism Australia” ad? Definitely.

    I loved that ad. Not only does the commercial demonstrate Australia’s diverse culture, it finally recognises the significance of the indigenous culture on the Australian way of life.

  55. Chris
    27 Aug 09
    5:19 pm

  56. What a load of rubbish and what a waste of money.
    Why do we need the so called “diverse culture “in ad’s for our National airline ?

  57. miss
    27 Aug 09
    11:06 pm

  58. ur a load of rubbish chris… why be rude for??

    ur question is- why do we need a diverse culture in ad’s for our national airline?

    they could turn around and say why are you on my land!!

    ii think its a good thing that they are starting to get reconised and it took a long time….the person who made this add should be proud…

  59. Peter Daly
    1 Sep 09
    9:36 pm

  60. If Qantas were genuine about reconciliation and wanted to prove to Australians that this wasn’t just exploiting ancient language and culture, then they would stop flying to ‘ayer’s rock’ and start flying to uluru. the name of the place IS NOT Ayer’s rock so there is no need to put it in brackets. The people who do not know that the place is called uluru should not be going because they are probably the ignorant people who climb the rock against the wishes of the local community.

  61. khesanh le
    2 Sep 09
    9:32 pm

  62. i actually do like the add, but yes agree ‘who will know what language’ they should of put it up on the add to let ppl know what language alot of ppl could think its a different language when in fact its one of australias first owners language there are alot of indigenous ppl that dont know their language & would of been great for those to know if it is there language on the add… i do know as my partner is a kaurna teacher ‘which is south australian aboriginal language’. But i totally agree with te last comment about ulluru.

  63. Vicki Hobbs
    13 Sep 09
    11:29 am

  64. I love the lyrics of the song – it makes me feel so very proud to be an Australian and to be living in the best and safest countries of the world, however, it certainly doesn’t make me want to fly Qantas. Up until recent years I have always flown Qantas (thinking they were the safest and the best) until I branched out and found other airlines have far better food, far better inflight entertainment and certainly far friendlier and more professional airline stewards.

    I think Qantas would be far better served by spending more money in training their staff to be fun, friendly and to look like they enjoy their jobs rather than thinking they are on some catwalk strutting their stuff while they hand out second rate meals – and watch out anyone that asks for something that isn’t on their trolley – you are black marked for the rest of the trip.

    I am pleased they used an aboriginal boy in their advertising as I believe the aboriginal culture needs to be promoted so much more throughout the world – however, have the boy at the end or the middle of the advert so that at the beginning people understand what he is singing.

    Like it or not, Australia is a mult-cultural nation and I think Qantas have tried in their advertising campaign to embrace this and show the world that we embrace all races and everyone is welcome!

  65. Qa
    15 Sep 09
    2:59 pm

  66. Qantas – The new advertisement for our National Airline

    Made by experts in extracting money by appealing to corporate executives who would rather tick off their list of cultural sensitivites than address the financial future of their company.

    To me it comes across as a load of apologist nonsense designed to salve the consciences of those in denial about the state of multiculturalism in Australia with a bunch of good old fashioned sentimental platitudes.
    If it brings a tear to the eye it is only because it conveys an overwhelming sense of the loss of things past, and Australia’s future deserves much better.

    Is it any wonder that people from other countries only seem to know about our kangaroos?


  1. New Qantas ad campaign praised by media and marketing experts - mUmBRELLA