Qantas disrupts the market by diversifying to health insurance

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Yesterday Qantas Airlines have launched an addition to their diversified business portfolio, Qantas Assure, health insurance for Qantas Frequent Flyer Members. Their big budget ATL campaign features cool-as-f*ck Hollywood actor, Christopher Walken, so you can only imagine how much they’ve spent! This big move is significant for both the airline and health insurance industries in Australia, as they’re not typically categories you’d typically align in terms of product offering.

Health Insurance is a tough category
We have extensive experience in health insurance having worked with not for profit health insurer, GMHBA for five years, and over the years we’ve found because of such restricting regulatory rules mandated to health funds around price and offer, it’s really hard for the funds to differentiate themselves. Everyone is offering the same thing and premiums are stipulated by the government meaning that health funds can’t offer discounts or undercut each other. It means that their brands have to work really hard to differentiate themselves and focus on a core audience in a really meaningful way to engage with them.

Recent health fund diversification
To counteract this, the majority of the health funds in the past number of years are diversifying into broader healthcare services, with the likes of Bupa, Australian Unity and GMHBA offering Optical, Dental and primary care services, shifting the traditional insurer towards a more preventative and holistic approach to healthcare, Qantas seem to be tackling the industry with a completely fresh approach bringing a more loyalty, rewards focused model to health insurance.

Disrupting the status quo

Qantas Assure, which is underwritten by NIB offers Qantas frequent flyer points as part of their membership, where members can earn up to 70,000 points in a year, which apparantly can equal a flight from Sydney to London. This is the most compelling offer from any health insurer I’ve seen and something really tangible for members.

The rewards model goes even further, focusing on mobilising members to be more active and healthy leveraging off the popular recent trend of wearable fitness devises. Qantas Assure will reward members with frequent flyer points for being fit and active, through their wellness mobile app, which can track your movement daily, helping you to tot up points. Their loyalty program isn’t your standard, “pay a bill and we’ll give you money back”, but rather “Get up off your arse and go for walk and we’ll help you fly around the world!” It’s brilliant!

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 7.46.35 pmQantas Assure is also only available to frequent flyer members of which they currently have 11 million in Australia, so if this venture is a success, it will firmly position both Qantas Airlines and Qantas Assure as dominators in both airline and health insurance categories.

Here’s the pun-tastic ad with Christopher Walken which is certainly disrupting the current health insurance campaign formula to cut through and engage with the public. Their campaign line “Earn Qantas Points walk’n. Like Christopher Walken” is a catchy, humorous and coupled with a badass old school Academy Award winner actor, is bound to garner game changing results for the brand.



Gemma Tedford
Director of Brand Projects

Pics courtesy of Qantas Assure.

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