Air New Zealand returns to the beach

Last year, when Air New Zealand took its safety video franchise to the beaches of the Cook Islands, the move was slammed by some quarters of the online community for perpetuating gender stereotypes by featuring Sports Illustrated swimsuit models in their bikinis.        

The airline has now returned to the beach for its latest safety video. But this time the clip focuses on athletes—both men and women—who are shown weaving and carving their way along the curling waves of Piha, Raglan, Malibu and the Gold Coast.        

As has been the case with the previous videos, this clip features the incongruent placement of airline safety tropes in a setting far removed from the confines of a plane.

Over the course of five minutes, a collection of pro surfers—including Kiwis Ricardo Christie, Paige Hareb and  Maz Quinn—share safety advice while a classic surfing road trip scene plays out in the background.

In contrast to Air NZ’s previous visit to the beach, the social media response to this video has largely been positive, with many pointing out that it was good to see a departure from Hobbits. 


Air New Zealand has also uploaded several behind-the-scenes interviews with the surfers that featured in the video.   


The official clip and associated content was conceptualised by True and shot by Flying Fish (with Ryan Heron in the director’s chair), but they aren’t the only ones who have been making safety videos in recent months. School kids across the country have also submitted their safety video efforts as part of competition that Air New Zealand has been running this year.

The grand prize winner in the competition was Avalon Intermediate School from Hutt Valley, and the students will now be flown to Auckland to attend Air New Zealand’s 75th anniversary exhibition at the War Memorial Museum, where the video will be screened (the winning entry is also on show at Te Papa in Wellington).


Maungatapu Primary School from Tauranga came Second Prize, while Bluestone School from Timaru finished third.

Click here to see the other entries that finished in the top ten. 

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