Industry News 5/13/2015

B$Z: Air New Zealand Takes Viewers on a Surfing Safari

Air New Zealand has assembled some of the greatest surfers of all time to deliver its latest on board safety video, filmed at legendary surf breaks across three countries.

Surfing Safari features 2014 world champion Brazilian Gabriel Medina, three time world champion Australian Mick Fanning, American big wave legend Laird Hamilton, popular American surfers Alana Blanchard and Anastasia Ashley plus some of the greatest surfing talent from Asia and New Zealand.

The safety video was shot in Malibu in the United States, the Gold Coast of Australia and at Raglan and Piha in New Zealand, three of the world’s most beautiful and iconic surf destinations.

Air New Zealand’s Head of Global Brand Development Jodi Williams says the all-star global surfing cast for the latest video will put the airline and the three destinations featured in the consideration set for travelers while doing an excellent job of engaging customers on board the aircraft in the key safety messages.

“Previous safety videos have done a fantastic job in selling seats and driving tourism flows whether it be to New Zealand off the back of the two Hobbit inspired videos and Bear Grylls experiencing one of New Zealand’s Great Walks or the collaboration with Sports Illustrated that boosted tourism to the Cook Islands,” says Ms Williams.

Reigning men’s surfing world champion Gabriel Medina praised Air New Zealand for choosing surfing as the theme for its next safety video.

“Surfing is bigger than ever globally and I am keen to do all I can to interest more people in the sport.  Air New Zealand operates to some of the most amazing surf destinations around the world.  It has been terrific to showcase a handful of these with some of the greatest surfers of all time. It’s been an epic experience,” Medina says.

Australian surfing legend Mick Fanning says Air New Zealand’s relentless pursuit of creative excellence and the ability to share his local surf breaks in his homeland attracted him to be part of Surfing Safari.

“A few of my mates will probably wind me up for working with a Kiwi airline but through the Air New Zealand safety video I got the opportunity to share some of my favourite local surf spots with everyone.  On its day the Gold Coast has some of the best surfing anywhere in the world. It’s been fantastic to be show off this iconic location,” Fanning says.

American big wave surfing legend Laird Hamilton, who features in the video surfing huge waves at Raglan on his hydro board says filming Surfing Safari was an awesome experience.

“New Zealand has some incredible surf spots that are right up there with the best in the world and I hope my time on the waves at Raglan inspires those thousands of surfers around the world who have dreamed of heading down under to pack up their boards and do a road trip around the country.  New Zealand is an amazing place with some of the friendliest people in the world and so much to do and experience, both on and off the water,” says Hamilton.

His sentiments are echoed by Japanese surf legend Masatoshi Ohno.

“New Zealand has magical waves and a culture and vibe that set it apart from so many other countries,” says Ohno.

Surfing Safari picks up Air New Zealand’s collaboration with Sports Illustrated that started with the Safety in Paradise video shot in the Cook Islands 18 months ago.  This latest safety video features Sports Illustrated model and American big-wave surfer Anastasia Ashley.

Sports Illustrated’s Executive Director, Experiential Media Hillary Drezner says it was a no brainer to take part in another safety video with Air New Zealand.

“Air New Zealand’s commitment to creative excellence and its ability to work with global partners to leverage brand activity on the global stage is unparalleled in the airline industry and it has been fantastic to team up again,” says Drezner.

Sports Illustrated will feature Surfing Safari on its online channels.

Alana Blanchard, one of the most influential women surfers on social media, says it was great to see some incredible female surfers showcase their skills in Surfing Safari.

“Wherever I travel around the world it’s clear that the quality of women’s surfing is going through the roof and it was terrific to get the opportunity via Air New Zealand for the likes of Kiwi great Paige Hareb and myself to mix it up with the boys,” says Blanchard.

Air New Zealand worked with HD action camera manufacturer GoPro to capture the surfers out on the water.  GoPro was famously launched after its founder sought a better way to capture professional quality action shots of his friends surfing.

Surfing Safari can be viewed online here.

To celebrate the launch of Surfing Safari Air New Zealand is giving North American customers the chance to win one of two trips to New Zealand and Australia. Visit Facebook.com/airnewzealand for more information to enter.