Air New Zealand has ditched the conventions of the airline safety demonstration, featuring tired-looking cabin staff, and replaced the stewards and stewardesses with elves, orcs, wizards, giant eagles and Hollywood stars including Elijah Wood in the aptly named "most epic safety video ever made."
The ad is an emphatic nod to Peter Jackson’s "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" films, which were shot in New Zealand and have put the country on the map for J.R.R. Tolkien geeks.
In fact, the central characters in the ad are a pair of genuine Tolkien dweebs, who are suitably awestruck.
The tongue-in-cheek, disarmingly charming promo is the third and final tie-in between the airline and Hobbit films. It launches as anticipation mounts for Jackson’s third and final part of his latest trilogy, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies."
Air New Zealand has even branded itself the "official airline of Middle Earth," the fictional region from the books and films.
The 280-second video stars: Elijah Wood (the lead in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy); director Jackson; Sylvester McCoy, the former Dr Who; and Weta Workshop co-founder Richard Taylor. They explain various safety rules for passengers with a balance of seriousness and silliness.
The ad ends with an epic scene that climaxes with the orcs, elves, men, dwarves and wizards clashing not in a bloody battle but in a big group hug.
This story first appeared on marketingmagazine.co.uk.