Product / ServiceQANTAS AIRLINES
CategoryA02. Rebrand / Refresh of an existing Brand
Idea Creation HOUSTON Sydney, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Marc Newson Qantas Creative Director - Qantas
Olivia Wirth Qantas Group Executive Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs
Stephanie Tully Qantas Executive Manager, Brand and Marketing
Emma Kearns Client Head of Brand and Advertising
Jonathan Thompson Qantas Senior Manager, Group Brand Strategy
Mathew Mazzitelli Qantas Brand Manager
Stuart O'Brien Houston CEO
Joanna Lilley Houston General Manager
James Calpis Houston Design Director
Alex Toohey Houston Executive Creative Director
Stephen Cannon Houston Designer
Andrew Smith Houston Designer
Dana Rogers Houston Designer
Eve Murfet Houston Senior Account Director
Cara Meade Houston Strategist

The Campaign

The key opportunity for us was in modernising the kangaroo and ensuring it reflected the premium offering of the brand. In collaboration with Marc Newson, we made it more streamlined, and simplified the shape. It’s evolved beyond a literal animal now – it’s more of a unique brand symbol. And while our focus was on modernising the brand, we also paid tribute to Qantas’ rich heritage. We sought inspiration from the retro flying roos, alluding to the movement of the wings with the depth and dynamism of the silver shading. There’s a sense of energy and dimension now which truly reflects the energy of the business.

Creative Execution

For the commercial need of maintaining market confidentiality, the re-design was entrusted to a small team. Within this, a handful of designers dedicated more than a year to ensuring the identity could work in over 200 applications - from the side of a plane, to a digital application to airport signage and everything in between. The variance in scale and application demanded upmost care and consideration. 1,000’s of sketches in the concept phase, perfecting the iconic kangaroo silhouette - degrees of change. And just as long handcrafting the Qantas logotype. We focused on making it more streamlined, as if air is pushing across the top. The secondary colour language focused on deepening and brightening the distinctive Qantas reds, and reflecting the landscape of Australia. It was the level of care that a brand like Qantas simply deserves - this is a brand that will outlive us all.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

On top of an overwhelmingly positive response from the general public and internal stakeholders, the impact of the re-brand was reflected in a range of external studies. A website to launch the new brand reached over 150,000 unique visitors, with an average dwell time of over 3 min per session. (Source: Google Analytics) A House of Brand study (March 2017) cited that Qantas maintains strong levels of brand preference, with 58% of Australians preferring to fly their national carrier. A Brand Finance study (Jan 2017) found that Qantas has continued to maintain a strong brand valuation at over US$2 Billion (December 2017), improving its peer group ranking to number 13 (up 4 places from 2016). Most impressively, a record 95% of Australian flyers consider Qantas an iconic Australian brand. (Source: Acuity study, March 2017.)

The new identity had to be truly reflective of the brand we know today - it had to reflect a premium service offering to maintain Qantas’ position in an ever competitive landscape. It was the type of investment that allows Qantas to compete on a global stage as a leading premium airline. Yet, while we needed to leap the brand forward, there was a delicate balance that had to be struck. Emotionally, this is Australia’s national carrier - a revered brand - a homegrown success story. We couldn’t stray too far from what everyone knows and loves. Like any successful re-brand, it had to feel like a natural ‘next step’ not a complete revolution.


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