by Will Viharo
Any business that wants to expand awareness of their services will benefit from combining forces with a product that has a built-in audience. Air New Zealand once again takes their brand boldly where no other airline has gone before, namely Middle-earth. For businesses hesitant about cross-promoting, this is a trip worth taking...
OK, maybe I was recklessly mixing geeky subculture references there, but you can't argue with success, and Air New Zealand's latest on-board safety video, already a hit on YouTube, is setting new standards for promotional campaigns. Anyone involved in marketing should be taking notes.
The video is a continuation of the airline’s inspired partnership with director Peter Jackson, whose third Hobbit film, The Battle of the Five Armies, opens this December. Jackson even pops his head into the action at the very end, after star Elijah Wood's fan-pleasing appearance.
In 2012, Air New Zealand – billing itself as “the official airline of Middle-earth” - produced a similar video with Jackson making a cameo as a passenger, partly to promote the first in his Hobbit trilogy, An Unexpected Journey. With over 12 million views on YouTube, it was clear this strategy was a winner, and worthy of its own sequel.
By dressing standard instructional procedures with familiar celebrity faces, iconic fantasy characters and cinematic razzle-dazzle, Air New Zealand has demonstrated that it's possible to generate interest in a brand even if much of the flying (or non-flying) public wasn't previously aware of their services. But now moviegoers everywhere may consider them as an option for their next flight.
And air travelers who consider themselves above the fantasy genre, might be curious enough to give the movies a look.
Chances are Peter Jackson won't agree to appear in your own commercial. But here are some pointers you can take away from this concept:
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