New Zealand Ties Its PR Fortunes to ‘The Hobbit’

We’d like to highlight a piece about the nation of New Zealand’s decision to hang all its PR/tourism hopes on Peter Jackson’s upcoming Hobbit trilogy. We can certainly understand the logic behind this BFF relationship: As our friends at AgencySpy put it last week, “when you account for tourism dollars, the LOTR trilogy basically single-handedly boosted New Zealand’s entire economy”. As the managing director of Hobbiton tours puts it, “We are a small country and that brand awareness, how do you buy that? That’s what a movie does.”

But while we’re at it, we’d really like to review Air New Zealand’s incredible PR campaign: Middle Earth characters already dominate the Auckland airport, and we saw both of these videos for the first time today. First is a clip of the airline’s new Hobbit plane (though we can’t see anything special about it beyond the awesome paint job):

Here’s the real gem, though: a truly excellent in-flight safety video for all Air NZ travelers complete with “Elvish” codes allowing viewers to enter to win a free trip to the film’s New Zealand premier.

Consider the many ways in which it is far better than this creepy Delta in-flight vid.

We just know that United, Southwest and all the other American airlines are kicking themselves for not signing this cash cow.

We’re not sure if the movies will be as good as the LOTR trilogy, but we have a feeling that New Zealand will experience a small bump in revenue–and we know the nation’s tourism department was very excited to hear of Peter Jackson’s plan to stretch two films into three.

This brand will never die.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.