Short List
CategoryC01. Use of Digital in a PR campaign
Idea Creation BWM DENTSU Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Media Placement BLUE 449 Sydney, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

Studies show that Australia is at the top of Americans’ bucket list. But despite being Australia’s national carrier, Qantas was losing its position as Americans’ go-to airline for the trip. By analysing numbers from the U.S. State Department, we found a key local insight that no one in the travel business was talking about: there are less than 135 million valid U.S. passports in circulation, which means that 3 out of 5 Americans don’t have one. So in order to help more Americans travel to Australia with Qantas, we gave them a free passport. All they had to do was book their trip at and enter a simple promo code to get $135 – the full cost of a new U.S. passport – taken off their ticket.


‘The Passport Take-Off’ launched on Qantas’ Facebook and Twitter pages with a video featuring a real-life Qantas pilot inviting Americans to get themselves a passport “on us”. All they had to do was book their trip Australia at and input a promo code. The social videos were supported by EDMs and targeted digital display banners, as well as written press releases to all the relevant media channels. The campaign ran from October 19th to November 28th 2017.

Tier 1: Media Outputs - coverage depth (quality/quantity), tone and message delivery, purchase intent (survey) Tier 2: Target Audience Outcomes - measurable changes in awareness, comprehension, perceptions/attitudes/ Opinions, and target behaviours/actions/responses achieved Tier 3: Business Outcomes – campaign's measurable effect on sales/revenues/profits, market share, stock valuation, brand equity, reputation scores and other traditional marketing and business metrics Our campaign quickly made headlines across local and international media, including Forbes, Mashable, Daily Mail, Esquire, MSN, Yahoo, Der Standard and International Business Times. 40 pieces of coverage in total Earned media value: US $1.3 million Earned reach: 225 million 20% of Qantas’ total annual website traffic in 10 days Bookings to Australia increased by 158% year-on-year.

The Situation

In the highly competitive and price-driven U.S. travel market ‘The Passport Take-Off’ managed to cut through the clutter by reframing a simple discount into something more tangible and relevant for American travellers. By tapping into a powerful local insight, we created a conversation around an obvious problem that no one in the travel industry was talking about – and by offering consumers the simplest solution imaginable, we propelled Qantas to the forefront of that conversation, earning publicity, praise and strong business results.

The Strategy

In 2017, digital travel sales in the U.S. eclipsed $190 billion, with forecasts predicting it’ll go above $200 billion by 2019. In such a massive, highly competitive and price-driven market we had to find a compelling angle to persuade potential travellers to choose Qantas over its competitors. Thanks to our insight into Americans’ lack of passports, we managed to reframe what was essentially a simple promotional sale and give it a purpose that resonated beyond just dollars. By initially targeting the obvious “low-hanging fruit” travel media, we created a groundswell of coverage, which we backed up by press releases to lifestyle, marketing and business channels. This wide coverage led to the campaign eventually getting picked up mainstream media around the world.


Name Company Position
Rob Belgiovane BWM Dentsu Chief Creative Officer
Asheen Naidu BWM Dentsu Executive Creative Director
Oskar Westerdal BWM Dentsu Senior Copywriter
René Schultz BWM Dentsu Senior Art Director
Caitlin Schuch BWM Dentsu Senior Strategic Planner
Brent Kerby BWM Dentsu Client Service Director
Bonnie Ledsam BWM Dentsu Account Director
Chris Murphy BWM Dentsu Senior Account Manager
Emma Durlacher BWM Dentsu Producer
Melvin J Montalban Infinity Squared Director
Cathy Rechichi Infinity Squared Executive Producer
Caroline David Infinity Squared Producer
Michael Gie Rumble Studios Executive Producer
Cam Milne Rumble Studios Sound Designer
Video URL