An in-flight safety video worthy of an Oscar?  Air New Zealand’s latest one just might come close.

In what is being called “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made” the airline has gone all out to celebrate the third and final film in The Hobbit trilogy, out this Christmas.

As well as featuring a giant eagle, orcs, dwarves and famous faces including Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson, there are so many impressive special effects you don’t want to look away.  Which, of course, is the point.

Not only that, it’s already become a huge viral sensation, with half a million hits on YouTube in just 12 hours.

Air New Zealand has become well-known for its string of creative safety videos over the past few years, including ‘Bear Essentials of Safety’ with adventurer Bear Grylls, ‘Safety in Paradise’ with a selection of Sports Illustrated models and ‘Mile-High Madness’ starring 80s fitness guru Richard Simmons.

The company has not only managed to produce videos that passengers will actually watch on-board, but pioneered a viral marketing tool that stands out from its competitors in a saturated marketplace.

Funny, well executed and informative, every ad has also acted as the perfect representation of cross-promotion – whether it’s aimed at stimulating tourism or selling tickets at the box office.

Suffice to say, Air New Zealand has got the online marketing mix right.  Whether or not I’ll be convinced to bungy jump after watching “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made” is another matter…..

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