Teaser Alert: Two Views of QANTAS; Spot The Difference

WITH QANTAS seemingly in existential trouble, I will be posting in the next couple of days with thoughts and analysis of the situation the Flying Kangaroo finds itself in, and where it might go from here; for now — and at the cost of five minutes — I wanted to share a compare and contrast exercise with readers that pretty much sums it up.

Like a lot of Australians, I love Qantas; I really love Qantas. Nobody can really sum it up, but millions of us feel the same way about the big red and white bird with the kangaroo on the tail that — in its own quirky, quixotic way — says “we’re home” wherever we find it, even if it’s (literally) a half a world away.

I am aghast at the headlines in recent months about the state of Qantas and the hole it no longer attempts to hide the fact it’s fallen into; for now I am still thinking through the events of the past 36 hours — the $300 million first-half loss likely to balloon to $1bn for the year, the job cuts and cost reductions it has announced, and the increasingly desperate pleas of its CEO Alan Joyce for help — but be assured, I will be publishing on this subject and at length within the next couple of days.

We’ve talked about Qantas before, when issues in aviation policy have conspired to make it the frontline issue of political news; it’s unfortunate we will shortly need to do so again.

And in the interests of disclosure, I should admit my company has commercial discussions on foot with Qantas at present — and leave it at that.

But I would also emphasise in the strongest possible terms that I would never do anything to damage that fine institution, and any comment I make should be regarded as being underpinned by that single, simple sentiment.

That said, two pieces from YouTube have presented themselves, and I simply can’t shake the contrasts.

Two views of the same beast, and in its own words, quite literally: it will cost you less than five minutes to do so, but watch both of these items.

Now, wind the clock forward, and watch this little gem:

I think it’s a bit of a no-brainer as to what I might be readying to say on this issue, but seriously, if a picture tells a thousand words — what the hell is wrong here?

I don’t think it’s just me either; the earlier story was far more engaging than the latter.

And those two clips — especially on account of them being advertising collateral commissioned and approved by Qantas — are a metaphor for what has happened to this airline, and which now threatens to destroy it.

I’m not going to do my media industry colleagues the disrespect of tearing that second advertisement to shreds, in this column, deconstructing every last flaw it contains in an execution so wildly off-target as to beggar belief. But, perversely, they could not have summed up what’s wrong with Qantas better if they had tried — however inadvertent that effort might have been in doing so.

Like the headline says, this post is simply a teaser; as soon as I’ve thought this all through properly I will be posting an article on the problems facing Qantas, and I won’t be pulling any punches: I want to see that airline not just survive, but thrive — like it always has, and as I am certain it will do again.

In the meantime, those who wish to comment below should feel free to do so.