Thursday 1 November 2012

Fly, you fools!

There are several reasons for rejoicing over Air New Zealand's new safety video. For a start, whoever would have thought a tedious instruction video about how to do up a safety belt, and turning off mobile phones would ever inspire anyone? Yet the clever clogs on Air NZ's team have been stirring up interest for years now, with a series of videos that have mostly hit the mark, and a couple of times missed it by a country mile (hideous slimy double-entendre puppet Rocco, I'm thinking of you). They've always been a talking point, though, and got people paying attention, which is the whole purpose of the exercise, of course.

In the past, I've enjoyed (surprisingly) the All Black ones, and the body paint one, and become rather fond of William, the blond flight attendant who stars in most of them and seems to enjoy himself so much - it was actually a bit of a thrill to be on a flight that he was working, once. The most recent one was a cartoon with Melanie Lynskey and Ed O'Neill, which was actually not one of the better efforts, but this one, also with a show-biz theme, really scores.

Of course, the first Hobbit movie is due out this month, so maybe the theme was predictable: but it's so well done, with the plane full of hobbits, orcs, elves and dwarves in what looks like authentic Weta Workshop makeup, lots of visual jokes, a suitably Tolkienesque script and - good for him! - a cameo by Peter Jackson. And that's the other great thing about this video: I can't really imagine this kind of backing and participation by busy, busy people anywhere else but in New Zealand. Snif. It makes me proud.

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