Qantas have released their latest advertising campaign - "Feels Like Home". Filmed in London, Santiago, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, the Pilbara and Sydney, and shot against Randy Newman's "Feels Like Home" (performed by the 20-year-old and self-taught Australian musician Martha Marlow ), the advertisement features the homecoming of five actual Qantas passengers, and the welcoming by family and friends in the airport arrival hall.
In the aftermath of a record loss of $2.8 billion loss for the 2014 financial year, and a major restructure that saw the sacking of over 5000 staff, the airline is making an attempt to reconnect and re-engage with Australian passengers on an emotional level, and ward off the negative brand perception the airline has created for itself under the questionable command of Alan Joyce. Those that work in the airline are quick to point out that emotive brand recognition is all that the carrier has left, with more than a few commenting on social media that the airline hasn't won back sufficient support from the public (yet) to be inventive.
Much of the criticism in the first few hours (on social media, particularly) has provided anecdotal evidence that Qantas are telling "a story" without making the brand connection obvious enough. While the airline has gone to great lengths to provide a realistic portrayal of the emotionally charged travel and reunion when back in Australia, they haven't necessarily done a great job of selling the services of Qantas to bring you home (the first sight of a Qantas aircraft is for a brief moment at the 60 second mark).
Executive creative director and copywriter for the campaign Neil Lawrence has acknowledged that it's hard to compete with the long running "I Still Call Australia Home" campaign", saying that "creatively it's really hard to re-invent", so he has suggested that the latest campaign is a variation on the already established theme. The iconic "I Still Call Australia Home" theme will continue to be the airline's anthem.
The 30-second, 60-second and two minute variations will be screened on free-to-air and pay TV, digital and supported by other forms of traditional, social, cinema and print advertising. The campaign will air for the first time this Sunday 9 November. A number of other variations will be rolled out over coming months with the airline saying that the campaign is a long term one, with the expectation that similarly themed commercials will be seen for at least a few years.
In a surprise move, Qantas selected Lawrence Creative Strategy to produce the work rather than Droga5 . Qantas has insisted, however, that they'll maintain a working relationship with both agencies in the future.
- Creative Agency: Lawrence Creative Strategy
- Executive Creative Director & Copywriter: Neil Lawrence
- Creative Directors: Chris Mitchell and Geoff Corbett from chris+geoff
- Client Service Directors: Tanya Jones , Fleur Marks
- Agency Producer: George Saada
- Production: Exit Films
- Director: Mark Malloy
- Producer: Martin Box (from Exit )
- DOP: Chayse Irwin
- Editors: The Editors : Stewart Reeves, Peter Barton, Dave Lawrence
- Post Production: Alt VFX
- Colourist: Ben Eagleton
- Music: Mark Rivett , Ramesh Sathiah @ Song Zu
- Composer: Randy Newman
- Vocal Artist: Martha Marlow