Air New Zealand: Official Airline Of Middle-Earth

Air New thehobbitnewzealandZealand is launching a global marketing campaign tied to the premiere of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

The effort includes a video, “Just Another Day in Middle-earth,” which links the airline to the second film in "The Hobbit" trilogy, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.

A competition will give threeHobbit movie fans from around the world the opportunity to attend the world premiere with a friend including airfare, accommodations and rental car on Dec. 2. A fourth entrant will win a once-in-a-lifetime Middle-earth experience for two in New Zealand.

Fans need to watch the video to enter by Nov. 26. The video features Dean O’Gorman, who plays dwarf Fili, and the voice of Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit Trilogy’s Radagast the Brown.



The video stars Air New Zealand flight attendants, pilots, aircraft engineers, an aircraft marshal, baggage handlers and airport staff as themselves, with a cheeky film-inspired twist, and more than 120 extras. It aims to inspire travelers from around the world to take their own unexpected journey -- with the key message: “Middle-earth is closer than you think.”

Another feature of the Air New Zealand marketing campaign will be the unveiling of a Boeing 777-300 aircraft in special Hobbit film-inspired livery on Dec. 2 in Auckland.  The flying billboard will leave that night for Los Angeles, where it will touch down in time for the “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”premiere.

There is a common perception that New Zealand is tucked away at the bottom of the earth and the perceived distance barrier stops some travelers considering the country as a destination, said Jodi Williams, Air New Zealand head of global brand development.

“For travelers from the majority of Air New Zealand’s long-haul destinations, including Shanghai, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Hong Kong and Tokyo, Middle-earth is just a sleep away,” Williams says.

Tourism New Zealand figures from last year’s marketing activity around “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” show 82% of international survey respondents stated that the campaign increased their interest in New Zealand. 8.5% of international visitors to New Zealand during January-March this year said “The Hobbit” trilogy was a factor in stimulating their interest in New Zealand and 1% said it was the most important factor.

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