More than 35 years after Qantas first launched an advertising campaign using the iconic Peter Allen anthem I Still Call Australia Home, the airline has unveiled a new version of the advertisement via The Monkeys part of Accenture Interactive, to showcase Australia as the world re-opens and travellers return to the skies.
The advert has a contemporary arrangement of the song and features the vocals of a new generation of the Australian Girls Choir together with National Boys Choir, the Gondwana Choir and some of Australia’s most loved personalities.
Along with Kylie Minogue, Ash Barty, Hugh Jackman and Troye Sivan, the campaign also stars children from Longreach, Qantas staff, Adam Goodes, members of Bangarra Dance Theatre, swimmers Bronte Campbell and Ellie Cole and Aboriginal Elder Rene Kulitja.
The advert was filmed pre-COVID at locations around Australia, from the spectacular Hutt Lagoon in WA to the jagged cliffs of Cape Raoul in Tasmania. Scenes were also filmed in Melbourne, Uluru, Hobart, Brisbane, Sydney, South Australia’s salt lakes, Longreach, the Whitsundays, Los Angeles, Tokyo and London.
The final cut of the advertisement highlights emotional reunions with loved ones as more Australians are travelling domestically and international visitors are returning.
Domestic travel demand has strengthened significantly since February this year, with Qantas and Jetstar’s capacity for Easter expected to reach 110 per cent of pre-COVID levels. This compares with an average of 40 per cent for the second half of last calendar year.
Internationally, bookings for destinations including Los Angeles, London and Hawaii are above pre-COVID levels and another boost is expected when New Zealand’s border opens to Australians from 12 April. Qantas has added several new overseas routes in the past six months, including Perth-Rome and Melbourne-Delhi, with more to follow.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said now is the ideal time to unveil the new version of the much-loved theme and provide a boost to Australia’s tourism industry recovery: “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.
“The full version of this advert is effectively a short film that highlights 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.”
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 and said he was proud to be part of the campaign: “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.”
Qantas began using the iconic song in 1987 and an updated TVC was launched in August 1994 to coincide with the Commonwealth Games which were held in Canada. The Qantas Choir first featured in the advert in 1998.
Qantas has used various versions of the I Still Call Australia Home advert over the years, most recently in 2009, but this is the first time the airline has recreated the entire original TVC concept.
Says Mark Green, co-founder and group CEO of The Monkeys and lead at Accenture Interactive: “Working on a new version of such an iconic campaign to showcase Australia alongside some truly inspirational Australians was an exciting challenge, and it’s even more exciting to share it with the world.
“We worked hard to stay true to the emotion and enormous sense of national pride this campaign has always inspired and incorporating real vision of a family reunion at the airport gave the advert a highly relatable relevance, with many Australians now finally able to rejoice in being together again.”
Filmaker Kiku Ohe said the emotion of the song resonates with so many people and holds a special place in the Australian psyche: “We aimed to craft an atmospheric and stirring cinematic film to speak to the hearts and spirit of all Australians. There is no better way to herald Qantas’ return to travel than by celebrating Australia’s vast landscape and diverse people.”
From this Sunday, the TVC will be screened in Australia on TV, billboards, print and digital sites at various times throughout 2022. The advertisement will be shown on all Qantas International flights arriving into Australia.
Creative Agency: The Monkeys, part of Accenture Interactive
Co-Founder & Group Chief Creative Officer: Scott Nowell
Co-Founder & Group Chief Creative Officer: Justin Drape
Co-Founder & Group CEO: Mark Green
Chief Creative Officer: Tara Ford
Executive Creative Director: Barbara Humphries
Creative Director: Scott Zuliani, Connor Beaver & Barbara Humphries
Creative Team: Scott Zuliani & Connor Beaver
Copywriter: Justin Drape
Managing Director: Matt Michael
Business Lead: Kezia Quinn
Group Business Director: Shannon Duhig
Business Director: Greig Carlow
Senior Business Manager: Roshani Metha
Executive Planning Director: Fabio Buresti
Head of Planning: Hugh Munro
Senior Planner: Brona Kilkelly
Social Planning: Charlotte Goodsir
Creative Services Director: Marcella Balestrini
Digital Design Lead: Eva Godney
Head of Production: Penny Brown
Senior Producer: Penny Brown
Producer: Cathryn Cooper
Production Operations Manager: Anna Bradica
Production Company: Rabbit
Director: Kiku Ohe
Executive Producers: Alex Hay & Lucas Jenner
Producer: Alex Hay
Producer: Marcus Butler
Producer: Lucas Jenner
Pre-Production Producer: Nick Simkins & Alex Hay
Production: Morgan Hind
Director Assistant: Daniel Fletcher
Cinematographer: Jeremy Rouse
Production Manager: Amanda Yu
1st AD: Topher Dow
UK Facilitation Company: Stink
US Facilitation Company: Superprime
Japanese Facilitation Company: Mr + Positive
Editor: Simon Price, ARC Edit
Producer: Daniel Fry. Arc Edit
Colourist: Mark Gethin, MPC Los Angeles
Post Production & VFX: Blackbird
VFX Supervisor: Nick Ponzoni
Post Producer: Ali Kennedy
Additional Post Production & VFX: Heckler
Senior Flame Artist: Brad Smith
Executive Post Producer: Carlos Zalapa
Sound Post Production: Song Zu
Sound Designer: Simon Kane
Executive Producer: Katrina Aquilia
Music Mixed and Produced at Turning Studios
Composer and Executive Music Producer: Elliott Wheeler
Musical Director: Cameron Bruce
Associate Music Producer: Jamieson Shaw
Music Editor: Jamieson Shaw
Vocal Director, London session: Brydon Stace
Turning Studios Producer: Carla de Menezes Ribeiro
Casting Director: Stevie Ray
Head of Production: Penny Brown
Senior Producer: Penny Brown
Senior Producer: Tanith Williamson
Senior Producer: Sonia Ebrington
Designer: Melissa Watson
Photography: The Kitchen Creative Management
Photographer: Toby Burrows
1st Assistant Photographer: Felipe de Neves Morais
Producer: Mark Gardiner
Retouching: Cream Electric Art