Cranial Billboards.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., (October 26, 2008) - Thirty Southern California residents have a lot less hair this afternoon, but they now have a head full of change. Hundreds watched while more than 200 auditioned to be one of Air New Zealand's "cranial billboards" today at Greenway Melrose Trading Post in Los Angeles. The 25 men and five women chosen had their heads shaved and temporarily tattooed to become walking advertisements for the airline.

Phil Keoghan, a New Zealander and host of The Amazing Race, announced the lucky selected applicants. Two of the women had long enough hair that they donated it to Locks of Love in honor of loved ones who fought or are fighting cancer. Amongst those chosen: several Kiwis; an artist who wanted to be inspired; a 6' 8" man with a head girth of 25 inches; a man who traveled from San Francisco to be considered; and a man who performed the famous Maori Haka.

One of the selected applicants, Kylie Bamberger, 19, has an auto-immune condition resulting in permanent baldness. "I've been bald since I was 15 years old and learned a long time ago that beauty is so much more than skin deep," said Bamberger. "Becoming an Air New Zealand cranial billboard allows me to own my baldness and show everyone that different can be beautiful."

The Henna tattoo will be visible for approximately two weeks and reads "Need a Change? Head Down to New Zealand. airnewzealand.com." The message reflects Air New Zealand's current "Depart a Californian, Return a Kiwi" advertising campaign communicating the potential for a life-changing experience in New Zealand.

Each selected cranial billboard chose a cash prize of $777 or an economy roundtrip ticket to New Zealand. Select cranial billboards will fly on a major airline competitor between Los Angeles and San Francisco in the coming weeks, encouraging busy travellers to explore their need for change by heading down to New Zealand.

"We thought this was a fun and innovative way to communicate the potential for a life-changing journey down under," said Jodi Williams, Air New Zealand's Director of Marketing, The Americas. "Given today's economic climate and dynamic upcoming election, we thought we'd remind Californians that there's a place they can visit where things are a little less complicated and change is more than what you hold in your wallet."

For photography and b-roll of the event, please visit: ftp://Anzmedia:media@files6.cyberlynk.net/, (Username: Anzmedia, Password: media). Or contact Katie Peterson at 310-659-5380 or kpeterson@crt-tanaka.com or Sarah Miller-Reeves at 310-648-7039 or sarah.reeves@airnz.com.