Qantas is in the final stages of shooting Australia's most expensive television commercial, with a production budget of more than $10 million...
Qantas spares no expense to remind the world that it still calls Australia home
By Paul McIntyre, Marketing Editor
January 31, 2004
Qantas is in the final stages of shooting Australia's most expensive television commercial, with a production budget of more than $10 million topping the entire cost of making hit Australian feature-length films such as The Castle, Lantana and The Dish.
The airline has already flown dozens of members of the Australian Girls Choir and the National Boys Choir to exotic and iconic locations in Greece, Japan, France, New Zealand and the United States in what the film industry says is an all-singing cinematic blockbuster. Every Australian state will also feature in the commercial.
The production is so big the airline's chief executive, Geoff Dixon, is "a bit nervous", while John Singleton, whose agency is making the ad, says he is "terrified". "It's the biggest production I've been involved in," Mr Singleton said. "It's absolutely terrifying. It's costing about the same as two or three feature-length movies. It better be good or we're sacked."
Qantas would not comment on the campaign details, production budget or when it would be seen on Australian TV
screens but claimed it would be "one of the world's greatest commercials".
"It's a very ambitious shoot," a Qantas spokesperson said. "I can't comment on what the budget will be but clearly it will be a significant investment. We believe it will be one of the world's greatest commercials."
There are suggestions Australians may have to wait for a peek at the new campaign until August, when the airline could launch it during the Athens Olympic Games.
Peter Allen's "I Still Call Australia Home" will remain as the jingle, along with the two children's choirs, an idea hatched by Qantas chief Mr Dixon after a phone call to his advertising mate, Mr Singleton.
Qantas has been taking only 20 children at a time on overseas shoots and rostering their involvement - aside from a couple of "hero children" - to ensure minimal disruption to schooling.
"It's a logistical bloody nightmare," Mr Singleton said. "The kids have got tutors and minders and all the other things that go with it. It's also bloody exciting."
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