Fronted by Australian rugby union great and acclaimed author, Peter FitzSimons, the series of television, print and online advertisements represents the largest campaign Air New Zealand has ever undertaken in Australia.

In a first for the airline, the brand campaign has been created specifically for the Australian market by leading advertising agency, Clemenger BBDO, and utilises traditional trans-Tasman rivalry with FitzSimons in an iconic Aussie larrikin role.

The first television commercial that goes to air on 5 September, will depict Peter FitzSimons doing his best to understate New Zealand's amazing natural beauty and famous outdoor activities while unknowingly also showcasing them. A second commercial is currently in production and will focus on the people and cultural attractions of the country.

The campaign also introduces a new tagline for the company in Australia -
Air New Zealand: Everything you love about New Zealand - which positions the national carrier as one of the unique components of any true New Zealand travel experience.

It also reacquaints Australians with Air New Zealand's trademark logo by imprinting the distinctive 'Koru' on well known New Zealand landscapes depicted throughout the advertising.

Norm Thompson, Air New Zealand Group General Manager Marketing, Networks and Sales said while the campaign was designed to connect with Australian audiences' sense of humour, the clear message was about encouraging Australians to travel to New Zealand on Air New Zealand.

"We want to appeal to Australians with some humour around trans-Tasman rivalry from an iconic Australian personality, while also wowing them with New Zealand imagery and positioning Air New Zealand as an integral part of any New Zealand travel experience," he said.

"Competition on trans-Tasman routes ex Australia has never been greater and through this campaign we want to convince Australians that there is a great reason to fly with us over and beyond our competitive airfares and network.

"It aims to rebuild the Air New Zealand brand in the mind of Australian consumers as not only a quality airline but the only carrier that knows New Zealand intimately and can give you a unique 'kiwi' experience from the moment you step on board one of our aircraft."

Peter FitzSimons said, despite several approaches by a variety of companies, he had not lent himself to 'endorsing' a product before now.

"Basically I thought it was a good fit given I reckon I've climbed on board an
Air New Zealand jet 250 times back and forth to New Zealand and I genuinely like the airline," he said.

"From that point of view it made it an easy decision and it's been a very interesting exercise."

The campaign comes on the back of record Australian visitor figures to New Zealand, in part due to the airline's market leading Tasman Express everyday low airfare offering. According to Tourism New Zealand, more than 800,000 Australians travelled to New Zealand in the last 12 months representing an increase of 22.5 per cent on the previous year.

Clemenger BBDO brought on board a 'big gun' creative team to create and execute the campaign including Creative Director Danny Searle named by BRW as Australia's top Creative Director and Scott Walker whose credits include campaigns for McDonalds, Volkswagon, Lion Nathan and Smiths Snack Foods.

The commercials were shot by Australian 2004 Academy Award Winner (Cinematography for Master & Commander) Russell Boyd and directed by James Holt who's recent work include commercials for Visa, Guinness and Nokia.

Air New Zealand also placed strong emphasis on using New Zealand crew, cast, post production and locations to stay true to its home origins.

The first television commercial will run from Sunday 5 September and on its first night reach an estimated 3.2 million Australians on every major television station across the country. It will be closely supported with press, magazine, online and radio advertising.

NOTE: The content of all Air New Zealand media releases are accurate at the time of issue, as stated at the top of each release. For updates on any changes, please contact Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 19,500 daily flights to 1,071 airports in 171 countries.

For more information about Air New Zealand visit www.airnewzealand.com and for more information about Star Alliance visit www.staralliance.com.