Air New Zealand, which has long ruled the wave of infotainment In-Flight Cabin Safety Videos, takes to the waters again with a fresh combination of safety entertainment and destination marketing.
Air New Zealand brought together surfing greats from around the world to produce its latest on “board “safety video, filmed at famous surf breaks across three countries.
Its new Surfing Safari video features 2014 world champion Brazilian Gabriel Medina, three-time world champion Australian Mick Fanning, American big wave legend Laird Hamilton, popular American surfers Alana Blanchard and Anastasia Ashley plus some of the greatest surfing talent from Asia and New Zealand.
The video was filmed at three iconic surf destinations: Malibu in the United States, the Gold Coast of Australia and at Raglan and Piha in New Zealand.
Air New Zealand’s Head of Global Brand Development Jodi Williams says the aim of putting together this all-star global surfing cast and the choice of locations for the latest video was to put Air New Zealand’s fun brand at the forefront again and give travellers an appetite to travel to these shores while engaging customers onboard in the key safety messages.
“Previous safety videos have done a fantastic job in selling seats and driving tourism flows whether it be to New Zealand off the back of the two Hobbit inspired videos and Bear Grylls experiencing one of New Zealand’s Great Walks or the collaboration with Sports Illustrated that boosted tourism to the Cook Islands,” says Ms Williams.
“Surfing is bigger than ever globally and I am keen to do all I can to interest more people in the sport. Air New Zealand operates to some of the most amazing surf destinations around the world. It has been terrific to showcase a handful of these with some of the greatest surfers of all time. It’s been an epic experience,” said reigning men’s surfing world champion Gabriel Medina.
The opportunity to sharing his local surf breaks in his homeland attracted Australian surfing legend Mick Fanning to the Surfing Safari video production.
“A few of my mates will probably wind me up for working with a Kiwi airline but through the Air New Zealand safety video I got the opportunity to share some of my favourite local surf spots with everyone. On its day the Gold Coast has some of the best surfing anywhere in the world. It’s been fantastic to be show off this iconic location,” Fanning says.
American big wave surfing legend Laird Hamilton, who features in the video surfing huge waves at Raglan on his hydro board, described filming Surfing Safari as “an awesome experience.”
“New Zealand has some incredible surf spots that are right up there with the best in the world and I hope my time on the waves at Raglan inspires those thousands of surfers around the world who have dreamed of heading down under to pack up their boards and do a road trip around the country. New Zealand is an amazing place with some of the friendliest people in the world and so much to do and experience, both on and off the water,” says Hamilton.
Japanese surf legend Masatoshi Ohno agrees.
“New Zealand has magical waves and a culture and vibe that set it apart from so many other countries,” says Ohno.
Interestingly, despite some gnarly flack the airline suffered over its Safety in Paradise video, shot in the Cook Islands 18 months ago (which some labeled as sexist) Surfing Safari continues Air New Zealand’s collaboration with Sports Illustrated.
Sports Illustrated model and American big-wave surfer Anastasia Ashley features in this latest video. Sports Illustrated’s Executive Director, Experiential Media Hillary Drezner described the decision to take part in another safety video with Air New Zealand as a “no brainer,” the airline states. Odd choice of words, but we’ll let it ride.
“Air New Zealand’s commitment to creative excellence and its ability to work with global partners to leverage brand activity on the global stage is unparalleled in the airline industry and it has been fantastic to team up again,” says Drezner.
Sports Illustrated will also feature Surfing Safari on its online channels.
Alana Blanchard, whom the airline describes as “one of the most influential women surfers on social media,” who also features in the safety video, says it was great to see some incredible female surfers showcase their skills in Surfing Safari.
“Wherever I travel around the world it’s clear that the quality of women’s surfing is going through the roof and it was terrific to get the opportunity via Air New Zealand for the likes of Kiwi great Paige Hareb and myself to mix it up with the boys,” says Blanchard.
Air New Zealand appropriately worked with HD action camera manufacturer GoPro–launched because its founder wanted a better way to take action shots of his friends surfing–to capture the surfers out on the water when filming the safety video.
As an added incentive for travellers, to celebrate the launch of Surfing Safari, Air New Zealand will give online viewers of the video the chance to win a trip for two to Los Angeles, California, including a two hour surf lesson on Malibu beach with legendary big wave surfer, and star of Surfing Safari, Laird Hamilton.
Air New Zealand’s innovative safety videos have collectively clocked up more than 50 million hits online and been viewed by millions of passengers on board. Surfing Safari joins a catalogue of past hits including the Hobbit inspired ‘An Unexpected Briefing’ and ‘The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made’ as well as ‘Safety Old School Style’ featuring America’s sweetheart of comedy, Betty White–still one of my personal favorites.
Featured Image: Air NZ Surfing Safari – Ricardo Christie Paige Hareb and Air NZ Flight Attendants, via Air New Zealand