The air flight safety video is normally one of the more inconvenient moments when travelling on an aircraft. Having heard the same advice over and over again before countless flights, many pay little or no attention to the cabin crew as they demonstrate the safety procedures in case of an emergency.
This has not gone unnoticed by Air New Zealand, and through a fantastic piece of online and digital PR, the airline have taken advantage of their country being used as the setting of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies and created a homage to these characters, which has in turn become a viral sensation across the internet.
The video features many of characters taken from the Lord of the Rings universe onboard an Air New Zealand flight, captained by Gandalf. Judging by fan reception, many point to the best part in the video being when the Witch King, antagonist of the final Lord of the Rings film, is seen playing on a smartphone whilst a horse trots in between the aisles.
With over 2.5 million views and counting already on YouTube, after only being posted 2 days ago, it would appear that Air New Zealand’s online PR campaign is going from strength to strength and having an extremely positive effect on the airline’s media relations and consumer PR . After only a couple of hours of going live, #AirNZ began trending worldwide, automatically attracting global attention and providing Air New Zealand with an opportunity to promote themselves to the world.
Most companies try in vain for years to gain the amount of media exposure that Air New Zealand have received so far through this video, so it is imperative that they take full advantage of this opportunity. You only have to look to T Mobile for an example of how something as simple as a video can change the fortunes of a company. After T Mobile’s Liverpool Street Station dancing sensation was beamed across the world, they received unprecedented interest in their company which gave them a platform to build their image upon. So with this is mind, I’m sure that Air New Zealand will have similar plans in place for the future.
With the video being made at a minimal cost to the airline, the financial return from such keen interest in the air flight safety video could make the airline a considerable amount of money according to business PR experts. What makes this video even cleverer is the fact that it single handily promotes the airline, New Zealand, and the new Hobbit film (entitled An Unexpected Journey – released in December 2012) all in one swoop with even director Peter Jackson making a surprise cameo appearance.
With a phenomenally successful reception across the world, it is surely only a matter of time before another company employs a similar PR strategy to promote themselves.
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