Middle Earth madness: Air NZ shoots hobbit-themed safety video

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Bringing tired, well-worn corporate messages to life can be a bit of a headache for many companies but New Zealand’s national airline has hit on a winning “quirky” formula – albeit one that depends on the good will of its employees.

Many employees are keen to go above and beyond the call of duty to make a good impression on their employers. For most, this might mean arriving at work a bit earlier, or staying a bit later, than scheduled, or putting in extra effort to secure a sale or contract. But these Air New Zealand crew members give new meaning to "going the extra mile"...

Fairfax NZ News reports that some of the airline’s staff were given Middle-Earth style makeovers to get in character as hobbits, elves and wizards for the filming of a Hobbit-themed safety-briefing video.

The safety video will be shown on Air New Zealand’s domestic and international flights from November – to coincide with the world premiere of the New Zealand-made The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.

The airline was collaborating with film studios New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in a partnership to promote the three upcoming Hobbit movies, Marie Hosking from Air New Zealand said. “The partnership carries on from the success of our relationship with The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, which was extremely well received by customers.”

Air New Zealand has become renowned for its quirky in-flight briefings, which have featured a bizarre array of well-known faces – including rapper Snoop Dogg, gossip magazine fixture Lindsay Lohan, fitness guru Richard Simmons and the All Blacks rugby team – along with a crass, furry puppet known as Rico.

And now it seems the airline’s loyal staff can join the illustrious list of people dedicated to ensuring the airline’s safety messages reach the widest possible audience.

Meanwhile, HRM lives in hope that the next step for airlines is to provide aircraft seating that caters to passengers larger than the average hobbit…

PHOTO: Sydney Morning Herald


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