Air New Zealand’s furry friend to the stars, Rico, is the talk of the town in Hollywood this week, interviewing several global celebrities including David Hasselhoff, Giuliana Rancic and Lindsay Lohan for a new online series.
The Hoff and Giuliana both lounged around on the Air New Zealand Skycouch on Wednesday, with The Hoff even exchanging his trademark red swimwear for a gift of a jet-black pair of speedos with the word “Kiwi” emblazoned across the rear.
Giuliana is Ryan Seacrest’s co-host on E! News, one of the world’s most influential celebrity television programmes, and The Hoff was most recently one of the judges on the hit show Britain’s Got Talent. He is also well known around the world for previous roles in programmes like Baywatch and Knight Rider.
In her shoot with Rico, Giuliana, who has her own reality show too, showed her support for the national rugby team the All Blacks by looking fabulous in an All Blacks t-shirt like only she can.
"Good Luck to the All Blacks for the big one…we will be cheering for the boys in black!" said Giuliana.
The content from this week’s filming will be reviewed when Air New Zealand’s team returns to Auckland next week to decide what makes the cut for the new series due out next month.
Air New Zealand’s General Manager Marketing and Communications Mike Tod, in Los Angeles today, says that global awareness about the airline is at an all time high due to its world-leading products and innovations like the Skycouch and its unique approach to gaining awareness through non-traditional marketing channels.
“Given the Kiwi dollar doesn’t go far in many of the overseas markets we operate in, innovation is critical for us. We are really proud that as a small company at the bottom of the world we are punching well above our weight when it comes to gaining awareness of our world class brand and products.
“As a result, movie studios, celebrities and global brands are wanting to work with us to take advantage of our profile and ability to become the subject of conversation in Western and Eastern markets at relatively low cost compared to more traditional approaches,” says Mr Tod.
Air New Zealand’s innovative marketing has been the subject of coverage around the globe this year, in news outlets including the New York Times, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, the Telegraph and the Australian.
In The Hoff’s interview on the Skycouch with Rico at a Hollywood mansion, the star reveals he only flies Air New Zealand from Los Angeles to London, to work on both Britain’s Got Talent and a brand new show, soon to be released by Simon Cowell.
While in Los Angeles, Rico also swung by to see one of the world’s most talked about young female Hollywood celebrities, Lindsay Lohan.
Such is the interest in Lindsay, that leading celebrity gossip website TMZ and online gossip king Perez Hilton have been following her every move and the catch-up with Rico has already become Hollywood news.
“It’s surprised us that no matter how discreet you try to be in Hollywood there are never paparazzi far away,” says Mr Tod.
The Hoff, Giuliana and Lindsay were quickly won over by Rico, already tweeting, about the ‘crazy jet-setting puppet’ to almost 3 million fans. In one message Giuliana tweeted to her husband Bill he ‘better watch out…he [Rico] is a crazy creature’. In another she described him as a ‘hot new TV personality’, warning Ryan Seacrest he may have some competition.
Rico is equally enamoured with his new friends in high places, ‘Hangings out with David Hasselhoff so much fun, he the man’ he tweeted, later adding ‘lucky I havings good fur day’ after meeting the stunning Guiliana.
Gossip about the filming has already reached more than 50 million people via twitter and mainstream media on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. The exact nature of the filming has been kept under wraps.
Previous Rico videos have proven a huge hit, with his recent collaboration with rapper Snoop Dogg attracting more than 600,000 views on You Tube since March.
Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320
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, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Air India, Avianca-TACA, Copa Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 21,000 daily flights to 1,160 airports in 181 countries.