Today Air New Zealand posted online its new safety video, which plays off the December release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
During the four and a half minute film, various minor characters from the Lord of the Rings series appear, teaching passengers about emergency procedures. Director Peter Jackson, Gollum, and J.R.R. Tolkien's great-grandsons Mike and Royd Tolkien all show their faces.
The mini-movie was made with LOTR/Hobbit films' WETA Workshop and WETA Digital, and it also promotes a contest which gives people a chance to win a week in New Zealand that will include a visit to the Hobbit movie set and tickets to the movie premiere.
It's not the first in-flight stunt by Air New Zealand. A recent favourite involved US celebrity fitness guru Richard Simmons and garnered 2.5 million views.
You’ll also recall “Bare Essentials of Safety”, which racked up nearly 7 million views thanks to naked-except-for-body-paint flight attendants.
Air New Zealand has also begun calling itself the "Official Airline of Middle Earth." In the early 2000s, it shied away from being closely associated with the blockbuster movie series. But New Zealand is now embracing the series and working with Air New Zealand and other tourism stakeholders for a loosely coordinated marketing strategy.