Qantas vaccination ad: Why the new Qantas campaign has all of Australia talking (and crying)

It's the heart-rending, tear-jerking, passion-swelling call to action that Australia has been waiting for. And curiously, it has come in the form of a Qantas ad.

The national carrier this week released a video advertisement that functions more readily as a pro-vaccination campaign ad, as it follows the story of three sets of travellers on their journey back into the world at large – of course, after receiving their COVID-19 jabs. And it's stirring stuff.

"I'm gonna see you soon, OK?"

Qantas, you had me there. I'm welling up with tears just writing this. A bloke is on the phone, talking to someone in a far-off place, and he says the sentence we have all been dying to say for so long now.

This is Australia, the country where almost half of us were either born overseas, or have a parent who was. We have family connections in other countries. We have friends in other countries. And how good would it be to pick up the phone and tell those people, our mums and dads, our brothers and sisters, our nieces and nephews, our grandkids and grandparents: "I'm gonna see you soon, OK?"

There are other stories being told here, stories that tap into our yearning for travel. A family who are hoping to recreate the mother's childhood trip to Disneyland; their looks of joy and sense of wonder as the plane starts to take off. There's a couple on their way to get married in Singapore – the perfect representation of modern Australians doing what modern Australians do.

It hits hard. It touches all of those points in us that we have tried to ignore while international borders have been closed and our lives have been so restricted. It perfectly evokes everything that people who love to travel and who feel connected to the world have been missing desperately these last 18 months.

Watch: Qantas' vaccination ad

The ad has drawn widespread praise. Tim Burrows, the founder of media and advertising industry website Mumbrella, tweeted: "I. Love. This. Ad." Infectious diseases expert Dr Nick Coatsworth said: "This is how you get people looking forward to what a vaccinated society looks like."

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This pandemic has been such a tiring, stressful time. And so how strange to find your outlet, to discover the perfect representation of everything you've been feeling and secretly hoping, in the form of an airline ad? For Qantas! With a Tones And I song as soundtrack!

But this is what travel is to us. It's not frivolous, it's not meaningless. It's the glue that binds our lives. It's celebrating big events with people who love us. It's making memories with our families. It's reconnecting with the people close to us who have chosen to live their lives so far away.

I'm still crying. This is ridiculous. But I feel this. I have family overseas. I have my own little clan here in Australia too, and I am desperate to take them out and share the world with them.

All we have to do is get vaccinated, Qantas implies. Of course, it isn't that simple, and it won't happen quickly. But how nice it is to see a stirring call to arms for the vaccine-hesitant. How nice it is to envision the joy that can come in the next six months or so instead of wallowing in the understandable uncertainty and fear.

The ad's final scene is just perfect, too. That first bloke is on board his flight now, in the air, getting close to London. As he stares at a photo of a young girl – his daughter, we assume – a hostie leans down and pats him reassuringly on the arm: "We'll be there soon."

God, I hope so.

See also: Here's what Qantas is going to give you for getting vaccinated

See also: What most people don't get about our international borders debate

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