Qantas still calls Australia home, ditches short-lived 'Atlas' theme

Qantas still calls Australia home, ditches short-lived 'Atlas' theme

Qantas has ditched the Atlas theme created by Silverchair frontman Daniel Johns and returned, at least for now, to the patriotic strains of I Still Call Australia Home.

Also axed: last year's You’re The Reason We Fly campaign, for while Johns' anthem was written.

Both seem to have been deep-sixed by Qantas' corporate affairs chief and spinner supreme Olivia Wirth, who recently brought the airline's marketing and brand operations under her wing.

Johns' opus, along with the accompanying TV commercial, was widely criticised, and even at the time of its launch Qantas said the iconic I Still Call Australia Home campaign – which launched over a dozen years ago, with the Sydney Olympics in 2000 – would "still play an important role for us, especially around national occasions. It’s very much our ‘national anthem’."

Qantas re-introduced a gentle acoustic instrumental interpretation of I Still Call Australia Home as the subtle soundtrack of its new Qantas Frequent Flyer campaign For Every Journey which debuted on Australian TV stations last Sunday evening.

The airline has since confirmed that Atlas and its parent campaign have both been put out to pasture.

A Qantas spokeswoman told media and marketing website Mumbrella that "The ‘Atlas’ soundtrack was used for the ‘You’re the Reason We Fly’ campaign last year, we have a new campaign in the market and have no plans for any further roll out of last year’s campaign."

The spokesperson reiterated that “The I Still Call Australia Home campaign continues to form part of the Qantas brand and marketing activities... we will continue to use I Still Call Australia Home in ads for special occasions and for live performances.”

Here's a quick recap of Atlas from the You're The Reason We Fly spot.

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • Mal


    21 Jun, 2013 02:02 pm

    Goodbye and good riddance to both the Atlas music and the You're The Reason We Fly campaign, ironically launched while everyone was still remembering Qantas shutting down all flights in 2011. You're the reason we fly? I don't think so!

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  • Broderick Boyd


    21 Jun, 2013 02:06 pm

    "I still call Australia home" is far to cheesy for my liking. And here I though Americans were over the top patriotic.

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  • Al Glidden


    21 Jun, 2013 02:15 pm

    I find it a bit touching, and I am not a sentimental guy or an overly patriotic Aussie. But I think it says what I feel, that I do call Australia home, and that especially when I am travelling I find a lot to appreciate about Australia. At least it's just an honest statement, that we call Australia home, unlike Yanks who go on and on about their country being a beacon of freedom, greatest country in the world, God-given rights to liberty etc.

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  • Longreach


    21 Jun, 2013 03:27 pm

    Use of the ultimate Americanism "guy" is interesting, given the last sentence.

    Nothing at all wrong with the sentiment, but the song was and is dreadful. It was also written by a bloke who abandoned Australia for the US as soon as he could.

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  • Craig Dennington


    21 Jun, 2013 02:34 pm

    I actually quite liked the Atlas music. Each time I heard it on the overhead when boarding in a foreign port I knew I would be home soon.

    "I still call..." is a little cheesy for me.

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  • TheRealBabushka


    21 Jun, 2013 09:43 pm

    cdinoz you're right. I too enjoyed the Atlas music. Any reason why they've ditched it? 

    It was a clever ad in my opinion unlike the current Mars robot campaign. What's that about???

    I don't know about you but doing the weekly shopping in Woolies is certainly not a journey!

    On a different note, I hope they'll retain the safety video featuring the Qantas ground staff. It essentially captures an element of Australiana without making too much of a song and dance about it.

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  • Matt


    21 Jun, 2013 04:11 pm

    Cheesy or not it was emotive and a great campaign. For the first time I actually agree with something that spin doctor Wirth has done and I never thought that would occur.  The cynic in me knows it's a deliberate attempt at the heartstrings but hearing those beautiful voices or seeing the ad when overseas make me realise how lucky we are to have our country sometimes, and used to make me actively choose Qantas.  Jetstar on the other hand.....And I think Peter Allen wrote the song for the very reason that he did still have an attachment to Australia, regardless of his career, something many expats can relate to.

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  • AirRhodesia


    21 Jun, 2013 08:37 pm

    Does anybody miss Ansett's "Absolutely" campaign, or are we all QF lovers here? 

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  • johninoz


    24 Jun, 2013 09:41 pm

    Don't remember that one.  For me the best were the 1970 Ansett "Flight" ads where the bird flying in the sky turned into a plane.  The photography, the music, etc, made it quite magical.

    And of course the Cathay ads with Barry White's "Love's Theme" music.  Whenever I hear that music now, I automatically think of Cathay.  They were ads in the 70's also I think.  Don't make ads like that any more!

    And if you want cheesy - who remembers the old "Up Up and Away with TAA" ads??


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  • AirRhodesia


    24 Jun, 2013 09:48 pm

    Up, up and away, with TAA the friendly, friendly way! 

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  • highflyer


    22 Jun, 2013 03:20 pm

    "Atlas" was eventually growing on me as background music, it wasn't too bad... however there is still something special about "I still call Australia home", that resonates and reminds me of home no matter how much we travel.

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  • gippsflyer


    22 Jun, 2013 11:19 pm

    Qantas was always mad to cut I still call Australia home from its marketing. Qantas was so associated with that song (and vice versa) that it was a taught marketing case study. Recognition and association was achieved with just a few bars of that song, something that Atlas never even got close to. 

    As the old adage goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it (and, if anything, the change prompted negative PR about Qantas trying to ditch "Australian" from brand, to comments about workforce going Jetstar - not good!)

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  • Tezza


    23 Jun, 2013 11:36 pm

    hi All i like this one ..from 2010.... esp the song ...

    The name of the song is

    Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard - Now We Are Free

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23 Jul, 2019 11:55 pm


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