All Blacks Continue Air NZ Spoof Safety Film Series With ‘Men In Black’ Parody

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The New Zealand Rugby Union has again teamed up with Air New Zealand for an in-flight safety video campaign which sees the All Blacks star in the latest in-flight safety film spoof #SafetyDefenders.


Based on the Columbia Pictures film franchise ‘Men In Black’ and working in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Content Licensing group, the airlines latest onboard video stars All Blacks’ captain Richie McCaw and superstar fly half Dan Carter.


The film also features All Blacks is coach Steve Hansen, team mates Kieran Read, Keven Mealamu, Sam Whitelock and Israel Dagg, plus Kiwi music star Stan Walker, original Men In Black actor Rip Torn and cameos from other rugby legends such as Australia’s David Campese, former England captain Martin Johnson and previous Argentina captain Agustin Pichot.


The launch was initially teased with a 15-second ‘sneak peak’ version,



before the full-length, 5-minute film was rolled out the following day.



The airline is also amplifying the film across its social channels,



and further promotional support comes  the form of a Auckland Airport player appearance event



and a consumer-created campaign extension



The video, which will be rolled out throughout the Air NZ fleet, was created in partnership with agency True Auckland, produced by The Sweet Shop and was directed by Campbell Hooper.


At True the executive creative director was Craig Pethybridge, with creative and art by Dom Antelme and Ian Sweene, while the group account director was Helen Prangley.


The film was produced by Andy Mauge, post and VFX was by Beryl, music by Sony and audio mix by Liquid.


According to Air New Zealand head of global brand development Jodi Williams, the airline, like the rest of the country, is ‘crazy about rugby’ (indeed, the campaign is badged with the hashtag #CrazyAboutRugby) and this makes the All Blacks the perfect partner for its latest safety offering.


‘We recently extended our sponsorship of the All Blacks and New Zealand Rugby through until 2020 and thought what better way to celebrate than with a safety video,’ says Williams.


‘We’ve worked with the All Blacks on previous safety videos and thought it would be fun this time around to have them step into the shoes of the other highly trained Men in Black. The result is not only entertaining but makes people sit up and take notice of the key safety messages.’


All Blacks captain McCaw says the players really enjoyed making the film: ‘We had a lot of laughs on set and were blown away by Israel’s hidden singing talent. If rugby doesn’t work out for him he clearly has a promising career as a back-up singer.’’


’The creative concept and the parallels drawn between the All Blacks and the Men in Black are really clever,’ claims Sony Pictures Entertainment EVP Emmanuelle Borde.


‘It’s been exciting to help Air New Zealand bring the Men in Black universe to life in this unique way.’




The safety film (which includes a product placement shot for fellow All Blacks partner Adidas) was viewed around four million times in its first 24 hours on YouTube – ensuring its place as the airline’s biggest launch of a safety video ever.


It has generated major media attention around the world and has been covered by CNN, The Washington Post, The Telegraph, France’s Le Figaro Magazine and the Sydney Morning Herald.


It is the latest in a creatively strong Air NZ safety video series that began back in 2009 and also includes the body painted ‘Bare Essentials of Safety’ (7.5m YTVs),



And included a previous All Blacks fronted film in 2011 (200,000 YTVs),



the 2013 Bear Grylls ‘Bear Essentials’ (2.4m YTVs),



Golden Girl Betty White’s ‘Old School Style Safety’ in 2013 (2.5m YTVs),



a 2014 Lord Of The Rings / Hobbit spoof video (14m YTVs),



and the surfing-themed ‘Safari Style’ from 2015 (3.2m YTVs).



‘By putting effort into making safety videos people want to watch we are helping to ensure our customers really engage with the important safety messages portrayed while at the same time receiving global attention for our brand and for New Zealand on a scale that simply wouldn’t be possible through traditional marketing channels,’ explains Air NZ’s Williams.


Collectively, the airline’s safety videos have been viewed more than 53 million times online.


It is, of course, a big year for the All Blacks.
With the 2015 Rugby World Cup just a few weeks away, the initiative leverages growing interest in the tournament and helps consolidate home support for the current champions.


And with the tournament held in England, the New Zealand team will be travelling to the UK on Air NZ.


‘Air New Zealand’s been a long-time supporter of the All Blacks and New Zealand Rugby and has played a crucial role in connecting the team to fans across the globe through inventive and colourful marketing efforts such as Men in Black Safety Defenders,’ says All Blacks CEO Steve Tew.




Air NZ YouTube:


Air NZ Website:


Air NZ Twitter:



Air NZ Facebook:


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Air NZ Pinterest:


All Blacks (NZRU) Website:


True Website:



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