Who hasn't made an appearance in an Air New Zealand safety video?
The cheeky airline, a top pick in Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards, has recruited Anna Faris, Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, Betty White, and The Hobbit cast to deliver messages about buckling seat belts and using oxygen masks, and for its latest movie (err, safety video), Kiwi supermodel Rachel Hunter joins the fun.
Filmed in ten different locations in the Northland region of the country, “Summer of Safety” (remember, it's summer in NZ right now) follows local prime-time soap opera star Jayden Daniels as he travels around the Bay of Islands and Hokianga meeting up with Game of Thrones actor Joe Naufahu (Khal Moro to the fans out there), IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, and Olympic bronze medal–winning pole vaulter Eliza McCartney.
The airline is hoping the latest video puts the Bay of Islands and the wider Northland region—known for big-game fishing, Haruru Falls, and Russell and Maori sites—on the next year's hit list for travelers.
“One of our goals at Air New Zealand is to inspire visitors to travel beyond the traditional gateways,” Jodi Williams, general manager of global brand and content marketing, said in a statement. “This latest edition is a great opportunity to not only deliver a safety message, but also to showcase the very best of the North to help drive economic benefit for the region.”
Air New Zealand isn't the only group trying nontraditional approaches to draw visitors. New Zealand’s South Island saw a boost in the number of visitors by working with social media influencers on Instagram rather than traditional marketing.
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"We've done everything from Insta-meets, when you get a whole lot of people coming together to take photos to put on Instagram, to hosting influencers from around the world," Lake Wanaka Tourism general manager James Helmore told Stuff.co.nz. "[Influencers] come across as very credible and authentic, as opposed to looking at an advert you know is being paid for by a company or a region."
Given the fact that previous safety videos generated more than 100 million views online collectively, it’s no surprise Air New Zealand wants to keep a good thing going; no complaints from the homegrown talent, either. Joe Naufahu was more than enamored with the set locations: NZ’s largest living Kauri tree Tane Mahuta in the Waipoua Forest, the beaches of Opononi, with dolphins swimming around the set—it's "a world away from Westeros," he said.