Air New Zealand (Auckland) has done it again. The champion of promotion today launched it latest Hobbit-theme aircraft, this time with Smaug, the dragon, emblazoned on Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKO (msn 38407) (above) now flying to Los Angeles for the movie premier.
The airline issued this statement:
The Official Airline of Middle-earth today announced the key elements of its global marketing campaign two weeks ahead of the premiere of the second film in The Hobbit Trilogy, which is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
A key feature of the airline’s campaign, titled Middle-earth is closer than you think, is a competition to give three Hobbit movie fans from around the world the money-can’t-buy opportunity to attend the world premiere movie screening with a friend. A fourth lucky entrant will win a once-in-a-life-time Middle-earth experience for two in New Zealand.
The video Just Another Day in Middle-earth stars Air New Zealand flight attendants, pilots, aircraft engineers, an aircraft marshall, baggage handlers and airport staff as themselves, with a cheeky film-inspired twist, and more than 120 extras. It aims to inspire travellers from around the world to take their own unexpected journey – with the key message ‘Middle-earth is closer than you think’.
The video also features Kiwi Dean O’Gorman, who plays dwarf Fili, and the voice of Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit Trilogy’s Radagast the Brown.
Dean O’Gorman says the video captures both the magic of The Hobbit films and the unique personality of Air New Zealand.
“The cast and crew have been travelling to New Zealand so much over the past few years the airline’s become like a second home to some of them and they just love the uniquely Kiwi service. It was great to be involved in this video and see so many Air New Zealand staff having a bit of fun with all the Hobbit film references.”
Viewers of the video from around the world can enter for their chance to win one of four trips of a lifetime for two to their choice of either Middle-earth (New Zealand) or to the premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Los Angeles, including airfares, accommodation and rental car.
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 December 2 in Auckland (see above). 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.
Head of Global Brand Development Jodi Williams says there is a common perception that New Zealand is tucked away at the bottom of the earth and the perceived distance barrier stops some travellers considering the country as a destination.
“For travellers 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.”
Tourism New Zealand figures from last year’s marketing activity around The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey show 82 percent of international survey respondents stated the campaign increased their interest in New Zealand. 8.5 percent 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 one percent said it was the most important factor.
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, director of “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, comes “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The international ensemble cast is led by Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, and Orlando Bloom as Legolas. The film also stars Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Ryan Gage, John Bell, Manu Bennett and Lawrence Makoare.
The screenplay for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.
New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a Wingnut Films Production, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The film is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM. www.thehobbit.com
Copyright Photos: Air New Zealand.
Air New Zealand (see the other special theme aircraft):