Air New Zealand launches onboard early next month a new hand-sketched in-flight safety video fronted by Emmy-nominated American actor Ed O’Neill of hit TV show Modern Family and New Zealand-born actress Melanie Lynskey of Two and a Half Men.

The new video features “cameo appearances” from a range of well known personalities, including world leaders like United States President Barack Obama, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and French President Francois Hollande. Other well-known faces include All Black Captain Richie McCaw, Olympians Mahe Drysdale and Valerie Adams, television star Paul Henry and rapper Snoop Dogg.

In recognition of the high volume of customers Air New Zealand carries from Asia, two top Chinese celebrities feature. Kevin Tsai is a high-profile television personality who was named one of GQ China’s Men of the Year in 2011, while Chet Lam is a well-known musician and composer based in Hong Kong.

The new safety video will be progressively rolled out onboard all international and domestic jet flights from early July and can be seen here.

Given the global popularity of Air New Zealand’s safety videos the airline has launched a competition where people who identify more than five of the celebrities in the video can be in to win an amazing around-the-world trip for two.

Air New Zealand General Manager Marketing and Communications Mike Tod says the latest safety video is the airline’s first foray into a sketched and animated format.

“We’ve previously featured body-painted airline staff, All Blacks and fitness guru Richard Simmons in our videos which have attracted more than 20 million views online. This time, we’re taking the opportunity to highlight the global reach of our business and to recognise world events and celebrities in a uniquely Air New Zealand way. That’s why customers will see world leaders who feature in election processes this year, Olympians competing to prove they are the best in the world, our All Black Captain and A-listers who are big in their markets today,” Mr Tod says.

“It’s great to be able to deliver our safety messages in an engaging, informative way that also makes people smile - and this time around gives them a chance to win a trip to see the world.”

Air New Zealand’s latest innovative safety video has already captured international media attention before its launch.

OK magazine in the United States carries a story on Ed O’Neill and Melanie Lynskey voicing the video in a recent issue. The magazine says - “Bored by snoozy pre-flight safety videos? Fly Air New Zealand - they got Ed O’Neill and Kiwi Two and a Half Men actress Melanie Lynskey to record fun versions!”

Mr Tod says Air New Zealand was delighted to secure Ed O’Neill and Melanie Lynskey to voice the safety video.

“Ed has massive international appeal through his roles on hit sitcoms Modern Family and Married with Children and numerous movie appearances. Melanie is a hugely talented actress who has worked alongside the likes of Charlie Sheen and George Clooney and who is course well-known to Kiwis through her role in Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures.”

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NB - images available on request.

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