Dancing Dagg stars in new Air NZ inflight video

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Israel Dagg proves he can rap almost as well as he takes the high ball in Air New Zealand’s new Men in Black Safety Defenders passenger safety video – a collaboration between the airline and Sony Pictures.

It’s not yet clear who created and produced the spot – the release doesn’t go there – but there’s no doubting its Air NZ safety video lineage. Or Dagg’s singing and stage presence (aided and abetted by Kiwi vocalist Stan Walker).

Not just Dagg, either. Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Kieran Read, Keven Mealamu and Sam Whitelock can add dance moves to their CVs. Even deadpan coach Steve Hansen gets in on the act.

The video also stars Aussie great David Campese, former Argentine captain Austin Pichot, and England villain Martin Johnson – all wearing horns. And American actor Rip Torn reprises his role as chief of the Men in Black.

It was inspired by the Columbia Pictures global film franchise Men in Black, and features Richie McCaw and Dan Carter as Men in Black agents.

The release says the video was created “in collaboration with Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Content Licensing group, with additional support from Sony Pictures Imageworks and Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Archives & Collections”.

“The creative concept and the parallels drawn between the All Blacks and the Men in Black are really clever,” says Says Emmanuelle Borde, executive vice president, Sony Pictures Entertainment. “It’s been exciting to help Air New Zealand bring the Men in Black universe to life in this unique way.”

Air New Zealand head of global brand development Jodi Williams said the airline is crazy about rugby making the All Blacks the perfect partner for its latest safety offering.

“We recently extended our sponsorship of the All Blacks and New Zealand Rugby through until 2020 and thought what better way to celebrate than with a safety video,” he said.

“We’ve worked with the All Blacks on previous safety videos and thought it would be fun this time around to have them step into the shoes of the other highly trained Men in Black. The result is not only entertaining but makes people sit up and take notice of the key safety messages.”

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw says the players had a great time making the video. “We had a lot of laughs on set and were blown away by Israel’s hidden singing talent. If rugby doesn’t work out for him he clearly has a promising career as a back-up singer.”

Israel Dagg says growing up he was a huge fan of the Men in Black films. “I grew up listening to the iconic Men in Black movie soundtrack song. Hopefully I’ve done it some justice.”

Australian Wallabies great David Campese admitted his appearance in Men in Black Safety Defenders is likely to come at a cost. “I’m expecting to get a right ribbing from my mates for appearing in a video promoting the All Blacks, Australia’s key opponents. They’ll never let me live it down.”

Agustin Pichot said: “The All Blacks are staunch rivals of the Pumas making it especially fun to play the role of their nemesis in Air New Zealand’s new safety video.”

And Johnson: “I’m a big fan of Air New Zealand so was excited to get the call up to appear in the airline’s latest inflight video. I’m sure English rugby fans will have a few words to say about my appearance alongside the All Blacks too.”

New Zealand Rugby ceo Steve Tew said it’s a big year for the All Blacks and with plenty of travel on the cards the team was keen to be involved in delivering the airline’s safety briefing to fellow customers.

“Air New Zealand’s been a long-time supporter of the All Blacks and New Zealand Rugby and has played a crucial role in connecting the team to fans across the globe through inventive and colourful marketing efforts such as Men in Black Safety Defenders,” he said.

Men in Black Safety Defenders will be progressively rolled out across Air New Zealand’s fleet from today.

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