As you may have seen on the latest television campaigns Qantas and Optus struck a deal with their Frequent Flyer program where customers will earn two Qantas frequent flyer points for every dollar spent on Optus services. The campaign was launched on September 5th 2011, a campaign handled by M&C Saatchi. The ad doesn’t really bother me and the partnership program itself doesn’t bother me either. From an aviation hobbyist and an australian perspective, the corporate splash on a Qantas 737-800 shouts nothing but “Sell Out”. Qantas is an Australian business icon much like BHP and Tesltra, the name is synonymous with being “Australian” and to have one of their aircrafts painted with a telco’s logo owned solely by SingTel is not a good look.
I know it isn’t uncommon for airlines to get into these partnership programs but when you start to sell advertising space on your fleet, I think that’s a different story. Qantas has done many other repaints on their fleet promoting various things, like Aboriginal art, the national Rugby Union team (Qantas Wallabies), the Australian F1 Grand Prix and even the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia – these repaints make sense, the Optus repaint, I’m sorry to say, does not. I have searched through hundreds of Qantas fleet photos and I have yet to find another livery that comes close to this corporate partnership, could this be a start of many others?
Times are tough over at Qantas and the media have not done them any favours by reporting on the tiniest incidents that involves their name. Qantas was slammed for running a competition recently where two tickets to the Bledisloe Cup was on offer, through their official Twitter account they wanted supporters to ““tell us how you will show your support for the Wallabies at the match” – the winner was this picture below. I’m sure there were lots of entries and Qantas thought this was the most appropriate and awarded the two tickets – Really?
Ok, I’ll stop there. I don’t want this to turn into another Qantas name bashing because it isn’t. I just wanted to express my disappointment on why the flagship carrier of Australia would drape their aircraft with another’s corporate campaign. It would make sense if Qantas and Optus used new material to promote the partnership but they didn’t, they used the existing Optus campaign.