Long-haul pilot: “Air NZ video makes me cringe!”

Editor TVCs, News Make a Comment

AUCKLAND, Saturday: Not everybody’s a fan of the current Air NZ TV campaigns: “Please Air NZ – stick to your core business,” wrote “a long-haul pilot” to the Weekend Herald letters column.

“Leave the entertainment’ to entertainers. This latest safety video just makes me cringe.”

He/she has a point – the airline’s made-in-Australia (by Host/Havas) tvcs enjoy blockbuster budgets, casts of hundreds (mainly precocious Pakeha richkids), and shout a lot – but apart from keeping the name in front of the public, display very little creativity.

The latest Air NZ ad is that Naughty List thing.

Here’s the blurb: “Air New Zealand has launched its new Christmas video which sees the world’s naughtiest children unite in a bid to get back in Santa’s good books, after the Big Man accidently leaks his official “naughty list”.

“The Nicest Christmas Ever shows Air New Zealand flying to the rascals’ rescue, assembling an International Naughty Kids Summit to tackle the threat of empty stockings.

“Knowing that Santa is always watching, the delegation of little darlings pledges better behaviour – but when talks stall with the US representative, it falls to New Zealand to save the season.

“Why does ‘our’ airline make these chest-thumping ‘Kiwi’ campaigns in … Australia?”

“More than 300 children of Air New Zealand employees auditioned to take part in the clip, with 17 selected to star as extras alongside the airline’s ground and cabin crew. Santa makes an appearance, as well as Noel the elf from last year’s Air New Zealand Christmas video.

“Air New Zealand general manager global brand and content Jodi Williams says the airline has a reputation for poking fun and wanted to inject some Kiwi humour into Christmas celebrations.

“From childhood memories of writing to Santa, through to the drama of a festive tech fail, the heartwarming video plays on silly season moments in a very Kiwi way.

“Showcasing our people is a hallmark of Air New Zealand’s brand campaigns and it was fantastic to be able to share the limelight with more of the Air New Zealand family this time.”

“The video follows Air New Zealand’s ‘A Very Merry Mistake’ from Christmas 2017 which shared Santa’s struggle to decipher the New Zealand accent. This campaign attracted 13 million views and won the Global Content award at the PRWeek Global Awards in London.”

Oz or Kiwi?
Also, there must be a good reason that the airline choses to make these campaigns in Australia – when there’s true-blue Kiwi creative shops who’d give their eye teeth for a shot.


Client: Air New Zealand
Global Brand Project Team: Jodi Williams, Jessica Yip, Samantha Saunders, Maria Ryan-Young, Karina Wenker, Saffron Dunlop, Andy Havill, Maria Hahn.

Creative Agency: Host/Havas
ECD: Jon Austin
Senior Copywriter: Hadleigh Sinclair
Senior Art Director: Jack Delmonte
Senior Account Director: Laura Mahony
Planning Director: Jessica Page / Bernadine Brewer
Broadcast Producer:  Stephanie Cameron
Print Producer: Gary Wallis
Production Company: Finch
Director: Alyssa McClelland
Managing Director: Corey Esse
Executive Producer: Karen Bryson
Producer: Jimena Murray
Director of Photography: Andrew Stroud

Production Designer: Brant Fraser
Editor: Drew Thompson
Edit House: ARC Edit
Post-Production: Nakatomi
Colourist: Ben Eagleton
Music and Sound Design: Song Zu
Photography: Fraser Clements
Photography Production: The Incredible Picture Company
Media agency: Carat NZ, Dentsu Aegis Network

Share this Post