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Kylie Minogue, Ash Barty and Hugh Jackman Showcase the Spirit of Australia in Spot for Qantas

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Superprime director Kiku Ohe shoots Qantas' new campaign from The Monkeys, part of Accenture Interactive

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 to showcase Australia as the world re-opens and travellers return to the skies, created by The Monkeys and Superprime director Kiku Ohe. 

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,” said Mr Joyce.

Former Australian of the Year and 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 the original TVC was launched in August 1994 (link to original) 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. The Monkeys Co-founder Mark Green, says: “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.”

Filmmaker 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. 

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