Air New Zealand’s furry mascot who is known for his infamous and exceptionally flirty viral ads promoting the airline’s new Skycouch, was recently flown to Los Angeles to collaborate on a new hit track launching a week before the release of Snoop’s new album, “Doggumentary.”

Rico is thrilled to announce his debut single featuring Snoop Dogg, Hello Sunshine – hitting the airwaves just a few days ahead of Snoop’s album release on March 28th. With Rico’s legendary New Zealand charm and Snoop’s West Coast flare, Hello Sunshine promises to be a big hit. Music lovers and fans are able to see Hello Sunshine at www.youtube.com/airnewzealand. With the millions of people who have grown to love and adore Rico’s antics on YouTube, as well as Snoop Dogg’s millions of followers, there is guaranteed to be major buzz surrounding this very amusing viral video.

Snoop and Rico have developed a close relationship, and the rapper had only the best to say about his new New Zealand protégé.

“Meet this guy and you’ll understand why I wanted to work with him. He’s funny. He’s a little bit edgy and a little bit naughty, which is a nice change for an industry that is known for having some of the dullest marketing known to mankind,” said Snoop.

Rico says he has been a huge fan of Snoop Dogg since he was born.

“I love all kinds of music including Snoop Dogg, David Bowie, Chromeo and Stevie Wonder. They inspire me, and I have even written a song myself, “Love Popsicle,” which Air New Zealand allowed me to sing briefly in one of my videos I did for them. Working with Snoop is a dream come true. I have also always dreamt of singing with Lady Gaga or meeting Justin Beiber, - I think they are hot and, well…I am Gaga for Bieber Fever!”

Meantime, Snoop is excited to announce his upcoming tour to Australia and London - following the Air New Zealand routes to each destination. Excited about the All Blacks aspirations in 2011, Snoop showed his Kiwi pride by wearing his New Zealand All Blacks rugby team Adidas jersey in the video, Hello Sunshine, to show his international love for the country and the sport.

Air New Zealand General Manager Marketing Mike Tod says Snoop Dogg and Rico combined have millions of followers in social media and performing a song together came naturally.

“Both have courted controversy in their careers and both love to sing – arguably one better than the other, but still, it makes for some light entertainment!”

Rico and Snoop Dogg completed the song and music video at Wavaflow Studios in Hollywood, previously owned by famed 1940’s singer/actress Carmen Miranda.

Sample of “Hello Sunshine” Lyrics

[Rico]
Ladies, Rico’s here just off the plane,
Ready to take away all your pain.
We’re gonna cook a dish, made to savour
Come add your spice, don’t matter the flavour.

[Snoop]
Here I is, where my baby at tonight?
The big Dogg with the big bite.
Hello sunshine
Would you be mine?
From Cali to Kiwis,
We do it big in the New Zee

About Rico

Air New Zealand teamed up with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Los Angeles to create a global ambassador to showcase the airline’s new-look long haul travel offering including the Economy SkyCouch and Premium Economy Spaceseat.

Rico is a seasoned international traveller who enthusiastically shares his New Zealand tourism experiences with fellow passengers. With English as a second language, he regularly muddles his words creating comedy and double entendre.

Rico has featured in online advertising promoting the new products, an inflight safety video and this summer has been touring New Zealand in a campervan producing video-diaries about his experiences.

Rico has also ruffled some fur amongst mainstream media, who have had fun talking up the controversial aspects of his personality.

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Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs +64 21 747 320