Whether you're racing through rush-hour traffic in Tokyo or flying at 30,000 feet, the New Zealand All Blacks have you covered when it comes to traveling safely.
After collaborating with AIG on an amusing tutorial about road rules in the land of the rising sun, the burly boys return for a pre-flight safety video for Air New Zealand.
Already the most famous rugby squad on the planet, the All Blacks will compete next month as defending champions at the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
In the clip below, the latest in a long line of high-profile marketing efforts, the carrier pretends to rebrand as "Air All Blacks" (not a bad plan for real life, actually). Past and present members of the team, along with a few guest stars, indulge in some meta-schtick at a high-tech conference, where they mull concepts for … a new safety video.
Suits actor Rick Hoffman shows up as the airline's lawyer, and his quip about "you crazy Kiwis" avoiding rap music refers to the turbulence over the carrier's 2018 hip-hop clip.
Hoffman really is an Air NZ fan. Last year, he tweeted about his love for the airline and offered to be its next pitchman:
Hands down @FlyAirNZ is by far the most accommodating with the most human customer service if you are flying that direction anywhere. Thank you Air New Zealand..I will be your next spokesperson...No...no need to ask...I'll just be it....nope I insist!!!!— Rick Hoffman (@RickHoffman_) September 12, 2018
Kiwi Cliff Curtis from Fear the Walking Dead shows up, too, amid riffs on Japan's obsession with both karaoke and robots (the latter also figured into the All Blacks' road-safety video).
In the New Zealand Herald, Jodi Williams, Air NZ's general manager for global brand and content marketing, called the spot "a fun demonstration of our support for the boys in black" that demonstrates how both organizations consistently prove "what a huge impact a small nation can make on the world stage."
Nobody rapped, but in just two days online, the new spot's come under fire.
Mike Hutchenson, a former Saatchi & Saatchi managing director, speaking to 1 News Now in Auckland, blasted the film for its extravagance at a time when Air NZ is looking to cut costs. "It was a big budget for sure, and I'd like to think there were better ways to spend that money," Hutchenson said.
In the same story, Williams defended the approach, saying it "drives great value for us" by helping the brand cut through markets such as the U.S.