Air New Zealand’s Hobbit safety video, “An Unexpected Briefing” goes viral in a matter of hours! #airnzhobbit

Yet another Air New Zealand safety video has gone viral, clocking almost 700,000 views on Youtube on the day of release! The airline has made a habit of releasing videos that instantly hit the groove and are watched by millions. Previously, we’ve featured an interview with the airline’s CEO, Rob Fyfe talking about Rico – their furry mascot, who featured in their viral safety videos. Earlier last year, we also felicitated the lady behind their original safety videos, Megan Matthews, as a SimpliFlying Hero.

The latest safety video, entitled “An Unexpected Briefing” is inspired from the latest movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It features lots of creatures from J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings legendarium. The flight attendant doing the safety demo has decidedly pointy ears and passengers have (very) hairy feet! It even features Gollum, a creature from the universe.

Air New Zealand also bills itself as the “Official Airline of The Middle Earth” and is running a contest for viewers of the video (in-flight, and on Youtube) to win tickets to New Zealand if they spot certain codes and people!

The Airline that made safety videos fun!

Airline safety videos in most airlines tend to be boring, run of the mill repetitions. But Air New Zealand has taken the same videos and turned them from what people ignored in-flight to something people watch at home on Youtube. Many times over! The airline has probably done more for in-flight safety than any other in the world through its innovative marketing strategies.

Here’s the story of how the latest video went viral.


Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is the Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying, one of the world’s largest aviation marketing firms working with over 85 aviation clients in the last ten years. Nigam is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior executives globally, from Chile to China. Nigam’s impassioned and honest perspectives on airline marketing have found their way to over 100 leading media outlets, including the BBC, CNBC, Reuters and Bloomberg, and into leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He writes a dedicated monthly column in Flight’s Airline Business, challenging the typical assumptions about airline marketing. His new book on airline marketing, SOAR, is an Amazon bestseller that’s shaking up the industry and inspiring other industries to learn from the best airlines. Born in India, raised in Singapore, he now lives with his wife and two young daughters in Toronto.
Shashank Nigam
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