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An unexpected briefing, an expected hit

As a small airline that can’t afford to buy attention like some of its larger competitors, Air New Zealand has long advocated the benefits of content marketing through effective seeding of its unique—and often polarising—campaigns and safety videos and a world-class YouTube channel. With the help of Weta Workshop, it nailed The Hobbit inflight video (check out Campbell Live’s story on how it came about). And it’s already a global hit, achieving worldwide media coverage and 6.2 million YouTube views in just four days since launching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBlRbrB_Gnc“On the first day the safety video was watched by more than a million people on YouTube and that number has now grown to well over 6 million in just four days,” says Air New Zealand’s head of international marketing, Jodi Williams. “On top of that stories on the video have featured in some of the world’s biggest news outlets, such as CNN, Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph and Wall Street Journal. The video has been simply fantastic for growing global awareness of the forthcoming movie, Air New Zealand’s brand and New Zealand as a destination. But most importantly it’s been a hit with customers on our aircraft and has again shown that by creating world class content people will engage with the safety messages.”

  • Check out a behind the scenes here.

Customers who pay close attention to the safety video could win a Middle-earth experience in New Zealand. Hidden within the video are secret Elvish codes. Viewers who spot the codes can then visit www.airnzcode.com/hobbitmovie  to unlock the door to Bag End and be in to win a trip for two to New Zealand, including a tour of the Hobbiton movie set, a visit to the Weta Cave in Wellington and double passes to the red carpet global premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Williams says Air New Zealand will invest several million dollars in Australia, Asia, the United States and Europe on uniquely Air New Zealand marketing efforts related to The Hobbit movies (pun alert: ‘Pack your Baggin’s’) to attract more tourists to New Zealand. The airline is also working with Tourism New Zealand on a range of initiatives, including helping to bring a large contingent of journalists to experience Middle-earth.

A forthcoming feature of Air New Zealand’s support of the films will be a themed aircraft that will be revealed prior to the movie’s global premiere in Wellington on 28 November. 

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