Anyone who has ever lived away from home knows how emotional the return journey can be. That’s exactly the feeling Qantas is looking to tap into in its new brand campaign, 'Feels Like Home'.
The campaign is based on the concept of bringing people home, something Qantas boasts it has been doing for almost 100 years.
“The ‘Feels Like Home’ series tells the real stories of five Qantas passengers and their journey home to Australia being welcomed to the airport by loved ones.”
The series involves a two-minute film and five 60-second videos, each film explores one of the five passenger stories. The films will screen across TV and online and will be supported by cinema, print and outdoor advertising.
The aim is to reconnect and re-engage Australians with the brand. Qantas Brand Manager Olivia Wirth said the campaign aimed to "rekindle that emotional connection Australian's have with the airline. We wanted to get to the heart of why there is such a fondness between Qantas and Australians."
This is a return to form for the airline. Qantas has been behind some of the most iconic and loved advertising in Australia.
When it comes to discussing emotional and stirring advertising, Qantas ‘Still Call Australia Home’ ads continue to be stand out examples of how to connect and engage people with a brand.
There is no denying how impactful those ads were. Yes, they were a little cheesy but they succeeded in stirring a host of emotions: pride, joy, sadness, homesickness and lust for travel. They were capable of inducing tears and goose bumps in a weary traveller or expat coming home. Yes, I admit to wiping away some tears after watching one of those ads on a long haul flight home to Oz (I blame the exhaustion).
To my mind Qantas have nailed it again and they have also manged to move the brand into a new territory. While ‘Still Call Australia Home’ stirred emotions around the sense of travel and the desire to see the world with Qantas, this ad plays to our sense of ‘Home’ and to coming home. That’s a very powerful emotional place.
That strategy is just so smart. Home is a massive emotional territory and tapping into it is a huge point of connection with Australians, well with anyone really.
Australia is a nation of immigrants and migrants: Home can be many places and mean many things. That sense of returning is an emotion soaked sensation that so many people understand on a deep level.
Australians have a deep passion for travelling and a love of returning home and Qantas has been smart to go after this.
Awkwardly, Qantas aren't the only airline to go after 'home', British Airways has also just launched a campaign called 'Welcome of Home
' that is targeting very similar territory to Qantas.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said: “We often hear that seeing the Qantas Red Tail at the airport or stepping on board a Qantas aircraft makes Australians feel like they are halfway home already. That’s the spirit we wanted to capture.”
Qantas have beautifully captured that feeling of being on a Qantas plane, full of Aussies coming home. It really does feel like you are halfway home and there’s a sense of comfort and belonging that this film taps into nicely.
This Qantas ad shows a deep understanding of the power and emotion of that homeward journey and in doing so it reconnects Qantas with Australia, a hugely important task for the airline.
Yes there are similarities between the famous Love Actually
airport arrivals lounge scene and of course T-Mobile UK
has also tapped into this emotional location, but this is Qantas heartland and they were right to go for it.
Qantas was once synonymous with flying, it was the airline people choose to fly, and it was a pride thing. The idea of the Spirit of Australia has been lost in recent years and that pride has faded both with passengers and staff.
I think this is a huge step forward for a brand that desperately needs to reconnect with Australians and show a real human side. This ad does that, it rekindles some of the emotion and that warm feeling people felt for Qantas. It will also help remind people of some of the pride Australians once felt for the airline.
It’s a great ad, but it is baby steps for the brand. Winning back people’s trust will be hard and there’s a lot of convincing still to be done. However, as an opening to that process, this ad does a beautiful job of evoking strong emotions and re-establishing Qantas as Australia’s airline.
The music is perfect, the ad is beautifully shot and I dare anyone not to feel a tug at the heart-strings when the grandmother says goodbye to her granddaughter.
Let’s face it, in a world of sadvertising this tear jerker is up there with the best of them. If the aim was to make people cry, this film nails it. They’ve won the first round and I can’t wait to see what Qantas does next.
A journey of a thousand miles, begins with one great tear-inducing ad. Qantas has a long way to go to rebuild trust, but this beautiful film is a wonderful starting point.
I give it 3 stars.