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Air NZ Unlocks The Secrets Of Middle Earth....

December 13



The Lord of the Rings fans can enjoy a birds eye view of some of the most famous locations in the movie trilogy thanks to the extensive flight network of Air New Zealand - “Airline to Middle-earth.”

Almost 90 per cent of the airline’s 44 domestic Express Class routes fly over locations used in the filming of the epic - providing the fastest way to the dramatic landscapes that have become synonymous with Middle-earth.

The airline’s most popular tourist flight - from Auckland to Queenstown -

(a 911 kilometre, 1 hour 50 minute flight) crams in 12 top Lord of the Rings locations, prompting the airline to nick-name the route the “Middle-earth Express”.

From the rocky outcrop of Weathertop, south of Auckland, to the stark surroundings of Mordor in the central North Island and the mysterious Ithilien Woodlands, the flight wings its way past some of the most dramatic movie sites.

Crossing Cook Strait which separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand, the route runs down the South Island past a cluster of The Lord of the Rings locations dotted along the South Island’s geographic spine of the Southern Alps.

As the flight heads into the Queenstown alpine resort region, it sweeps over a landscape where the Flight to the Ford, Pillars of the Argonath, the Ford of Bruinen, south of Rivendell and the Dimrill Dale were filmed.

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As the official “Airline to Middle-earth”, Air New Zealand pilots will point out main locations to passengers on the key Lord of the Rings routes amongst the airline’s 470 domestic flights each day.

One new location not shown in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring which will be seen in the second part of the trilogy is Mt Sunday on Mt Potts Station in Canterbury, in the middle of the South Island. This breathtaking setting became the Rohan city of Edoras in the film.

Almost 20 per cent of Air New Zealand flights cross this central South Island region with, weather permitting, spectacular views of the Southern Alps and the location area.

Reflecting both the sheer number of New Zealand locations where The Lord of the Rings filming took place (more than 150) and the expansive Air New Zealand network, only five routes do not fly near to movie locations.


A number of specialist New Zealand-based tour operators, many of whom worked on the film, offer personal guided tours of key locations for travellers wanting to experience the magnificent scenery and atmosphere themselves.

These range from “Safari of the Rings’ four wheel drive tours near Queenstown with Outback New Zealand Limited to Red Carpet Tours trips to Hobbiton near Matamata.

For visitors on a tight timeframe they can visit all of Middle-earth in a day at the newly launched Lord of the Rings exhibition at Te Papa in Wellington, which Air New Zealand is supporting.

Further information on Lord of the Rings tours in New Zealand is available through individual operator websites:


A special Locations Guidebook to The Lord of the Rings has just been published by author Ian Brodie, who has been appointed Air New Zealand’s Lord of the Rings Ambassador.

Showing the principal movie set locations around New Zealand, the book gives Global Positioning Satellite references for fans who want to step in Peter Jackson’s footsteps through Middle-earth.

This book, which sold out in New Zealand in just four days when it was published last month, is now in its third reprint and topping the New Zealand best seller charts.

The book can be ordered through http//


December 13


Air New Zealand today rolled out its biggest tourism promotion yet - a Boeing

747-400 emblazoned with “The Lord of the Rings” motion picture trilogy imagery that will take the Middle-earth message to the world.

Spearheading the airline’s new promotional identity as “Airline to Middle-earth”,

Air New Zealand Chief Operating Officer Andrew Miller described the promotion as

“a visionary demonstration of Air New Zealand’s commitment to drive the New Zealand tourism message around the world”

As the largest private sector promoter of tourism in the international arena,

Air New Zealand developed a two year joint venture with movie makers New Line Cinema to link movie publicity to New Zealand tourism.

The aircraft image is the most visible expression of that partnership, but is underpinned by extensive marketing work in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Japan and Singapore - prime sources of tourists to New Zealand.

A second aircraft, a Boeing 767, will be launched with different Lord of the Rings imagery in January and fly predominantly on trans-Tasman and Pacific routes.

The massive Boeing 747 flying billboard, unveiled today, will undertake its own epic journey of almost four million kilometres during the 12 months it remains on the aircraft - that’s the equivalent of 96 times around the globe.

It will visit London approximately 45 times during the year, Los Angeles 165 times, Sydney 50 times and Japan 56 times.

Weighing 60 kilograms, the giant decal will be subjected to temperatures ranging from - 60C through to 60C between high-altitude cruising and sitting on hot airport tarmacs in mid-summer sun.

Passengers onboard tonight’s flight to Los Angeles will each be presented with a personally autographed Lord of the Rings Locations Guidebook by Ian Brodie,

Air New Zealand’s Lord of the Rings Ambassador. This book, already in its third reprint since last month’s launch, is currently New Zealand’s number one best seller.

Over the next year, passengers flying onboard the Frodo plane will see a thirteen minute video highlighting locations used in the movie followed by a trailer for Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and also receive a special souvenir postcard.

In a year’s time the giant decal will be replaced by other The Lord of the Rings imagery - this time from the final movie in the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.


December 13



Air New Zealand has appointed the man dubbed New Zealand’s greatest

“Ring’s fan’, Ian Brodie, as its Lord of the Rings Ambassador.

He is the author of the official Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook - New Zealand’s number one best seller, which sold out within the first four days when it was published last month and is already in its third reprint.

And he knows more about the movie trilogy than possibly anyone other than the core production team.

As part of Air New Zealand’s global promotion of its role as “Airline to Middle-earth” in the vanguard of New Zealand tourism marketing, Ian will help carry the “Rings’ message. His expertise will be harnessed by the airline’s marketing teams, both here and offshore, and in media and public relations work.

He describes his role with Air New Zealand as “helping the airline in its drive to build New Zealand tourism.”

“As a Kiwi, I am very proud that Air New Zealand has had the vision to seize this opportunity in such a high profile way. It’s terrific for New Zealand tourism to see images from the film being flown around the major cities of the world, “ he added.

Passengers onboard tonight’s first “Frodo’ flight to Los Angeles will each be presented with a personally autographed copy of the guidebook.

For the next year, special onboard announcements of Air New Zealand’s “Airline to Middle-earth” status will be made onboard the “Frodo’ aircraft, a 13 minute video will be shown featuring locations used in the movie followed by a trailer for Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and passengers will each receive a souvenir postcard showing the imagery used on the aircraft itself.

Ian’s regular job is the curator of the “Warbirds’ collection of World War II fighter planes in Wanaka, deep in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island - very close to a number of the most dramatic locations used in the movie.

He formerly worked for Air New Zealand for 11 years in a variety of sales and marketing roles and is a passionate aviation enthusiast.

Meticulously researched, Ian’s guidebook even includes global positioning satellite coordinates so that determined “Rings’ fans can pinpoint exactly where certain scenes were shot.

The book can be ordered through:


December 13


Not many artists have a Boeing 747 as a canvas.

Apart from the sheer size, the curves of the fuselage make the task of “painting’ an image around the aircraft body technically challenging to say the least.

For the Auckland office of Designworks, the design agency chosen by Air New Zealand to make its dream of a flying The Lord of the Rings motion picture trilogy billboard a reality, it was a first.

Although the agency has a strong reputation for creating brand designs for some of New Zealand’s largest companies, it was the first time the team had pored over a Boeing

747-400 in the course of their everyday work.

The image covers a total area of more than 500 square metres over both sides of the aircraft, conveying the essence of the film and the location while establishing Air New Zealand’s promotional identity as “Airline to Middle-earth”.

Designworks account director Karen Jones explained: “It was vital to emphasise the strong associations with New Zealand. We were seeking to use the airline’s relationship with The Lord of the Rings to promote New Zealand as a desirable visitor destination.

It was also important that we try and bring the excitement of the movie to life and retain the story’s integrity in the design.”

“We developed three design directions - a themed character, a themed culture and a themed place. The characters, arguably, have the greatest appeal and were therefore used most prominently. They also have the strongest symbolism.”

The mural itself, made up of hundreds of individual pieces, had to be carefully designed not to affect the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft and even the weight of the decal - 60 kilograms - was taken into consideration.

Designworks is now preparing the second The Lord of the Rings decal which will be applied to a Boeing 767 aircraft in late January.


December 13


Air New Zealand is harnessing its status as “Airline to Middle-earth” to help build profile for New Zealand as a holiday destination. Following is a brief outline of activities being undertaken in key markets in the next month.


- Prominent The Lord of the Rings display unveiled today in the

Air New Zealand Travel Centre, New Zealand House, on one of the busiest corners in central London, just off Trafalgar Square.

- Virgin Megastores/Warner Village Cinemas - holiday promotion.

Point of sale material at 43 cinemas throughout the UK for December. 250,000 leaflets to be given out promoting New Zealand as the home of Middle-earth and Air New Zealand as the airline to get you there with a prize holiday draw. Same leaflets to be given out at 202 Virgin Megastores and Vshops throughout the UK.

- Cineworld - 2 week radio advertising campaign at Two Towers launch time supported by 600,000 “postcards’ promoting travel to New Zealand and a holiday prize to all customers at this top British cinema.

- Royal Mail - the British post office will work with Air New Zealand on its hugely successful Lord of the Rings website which promotes postcards & commemorative stamps. The airline’s logo will be on the website plus a link to the airline’s website for further information on travelling to Middle-earth.

- Mail on Sunday Newspaper/AOL competition

One of Britain’s largest circulation Sunday newspapers, the Mail on Sunday has a readership close to the population size of New Zealand. Next weekend more than 2 million CD Roms will be attached to newspapers featuring a special Lord of the Rings holiday to Middle-earth with Air New Zealand. Last year for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, this competition device attracted more than 200,000 entries.

- National press advertising on weekend of Two Towers premiere.

- Holiday competition with Waterstones, one of Britain’s most upmarket national bookstore chains, linked to Lord of the Rings promotion.


- Cinemark Theatres, Lord of the Rings Fan Club and Newmans Vacations: Promotion in 188 Cinemark theatre lobbies including leaflet / flier distribution and cinema advertising on 2,215 screens throughout the USA reaching 20 million people. Email blast to 250,000 Cinemark Showtime members and web presence on Email blast to the Lord of the Rings USA fan club members and inclusion in fan club magazine.

- Variety Children’s Charity and Los Angeles Country: Participation in premier screening of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers to 4,000 school children as part of an Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (governing body of Los Angeles Country) literacy event. Having read The Two Towers, school students submitted an essay and go in to win a trip for two to Middle-earth (New Zealand) flying with Air New Zealand. National USA press coverage is expected.

- Other USA promotions in 2002 include marketing partnerships with New Line Studios Online Store, Blockbuster Video, Houghton Mifflin Publishing, Gateway / Intel, AOL, and KIA automobiles.

- New Line Home Entertainment: DVD and VHS release of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. Participation in coupon book, 10 million units distributed throughout the USA.

- Outdoor Billboard advertising in key Los Angeles locations.

- The Two Towers Exhibition, Royal Ontario Museum

Major exhibition expected to draw 60,000 visitors who can enter an Air New Zealand holiday competition to Middle-earth (New Zealand).


- Virgin Megastore, Champs Elysee, Paris

Air New Zealand participation in holiday prize promotion to Middle-earth (New Zealand) with the world’s largest Virgin Megastore (receives 30,000 visitors per week) plus links on the Virgin web page.

Promotion carried through the other 44 Virgin Megastores throughout France.

- Special Air New Zealand flight offers will be made to the French market to help incentivise French travellers to book trips to Middle-earth (New Zealand).

- Toshiba

Posters in 200 shops, 1.5 million leaflets promoting the movie and holiday prize and link on Toshiba webpage.


- Book store promotion

Air New Zealand holiday prize to Middle-earth (New Zealand) promoted throughout 1500 bookshops in Netherlands and 150 in Belgium.


- Development and marketing of special Lord of the Rings packages to visit Middle-earth (New Zealand).

- Premiere screening and special screenings for VIPs, travel industry representatives and others.

- Special promotions with Mastercard and Power 98 radio station.

- Tickets to an exclusive movie preview in Singapore of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers for Gold Elite Airpoints members in South East Asia.


- Special competition to win a holiday to Middle-earth (New Zealand).


- Working with Trade NZ to organise an exclusive premier for agents and film producers separately. Movie will be launched in February/March 2003.


December 13


Air New Zealand’s Lord of the Rings aircraft mural is one of the biggest ever promotional billboards for New Zealand on the global stage.

Stretching 36 metres along the fuselage from the rear door to over the wing, it reaches almost 8 metres in height and runs down both sides of the aircraft.

The image of Elijah Wood as Hobbit Frodo Baggins and Sean Astin as the Hobbit Samwise Gamgee, is made up of more than 300 separate pieces, forming one giant jigsaw stuck to the curved canvas of the Boeing 747 fuselage.

Although the aircraft marking film used is barely thicker than cling film, the sheer size of the image means the decal actually weighs more than 60 kilograms.

The specialist film is perforated to allow for pressurisation changes in the aircraft and designed to withstand speeds of up to 1,000 kilometres an hour.

Tested by the US Airforce, the film is manufactured to cope with the enormous temperature fluctuation experienced by an aircraft fuselage surface, from -60 C while cruising at 35,000 feet to 60 C during prolonged spells on the tarmac

mid-summer in destinations such as Los Angeles.

The Lord of the Rings image is 20% larger than the All Black front row mural used by the airline to mark the national team’s campaign for the 1999 Rugby World Cup.

More than 450 man hours were involved in fixing the vast mural to the aircraft, which had to be painstakingly cleaned with alcohol first to ensure the self-adhesive film would attach firmly.

A team of 12 from outdoor graphic manufacturing and installation specialist AdMark Visual Imaging were joined by Air New Zealand engineers in a hangar at the airline’s Auckland engineering base to apply the mural during a routine three-day maintenance check on the Boeing 747-400.

While the aircraft marking film itself has a three-year lifespan, Air New Zealand plans to replace it late next year with images from the final part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King.


December 13


Air New Zealand and The Lord of the Rings filmmakers New Line Cinema have formed a partnership that will see global promotion of New Zealand as a tourist destination through the national carrier’s status as “Airline to Middle-earth’.

The two-year agreement will be the springboard for the airline’s highest profile global partnership to position the airline and New Zealand as top holiday choices for travellers from around the world.

The deal allows international marketing of Air New Zealand, as “Airline to Middle-earth’, in association with the second and third movies in The Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

A wide-ranging marketing programme that will build in scope and intensity over the next 12 to 18 months is already underway in the key markets of the UK, Europe, North America, Australia and Asia.

The estimated reach of The Lord of the Rings media coverage is 200 million households worldwide - a powerful medium that Air New Zealand will harness to drive increased tourism to New Zealand.

Air New Zealand’s Chief Operating Officer Andrew Miller said the New Line agreement signalled the strength of the airline’s commitment to promoting New Zealand on the world stage.

“This move links the massive global appeal of The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy with Air New Zealand. It is also a celebration of a New Zealand success story - of creativity, ingenuity and spirit, “ he said.

“Our clear commitment is to showcase the very best of New Zealand.

The Lord of the Rings project is one of the most ambitious platforms yet to take the New Zealand message to the world.”

New Line Cinema’s President of Worldwide Distribution and Marketing, Rolf Mittweg, described the partnership as “an innovative collaboration”.

Mittweg added: “As the producer of the trilogy we symbolically carry the flag for The Lord of the Rings. Air New Zealand too is a flag carrier, for New Zealand - which has become identified so strongly as Middle-earth. With so much in common, and the huge interest in New Zealand as the location and source of so much of the creative energy behind the movies, our partnership was a natural alliance.”

Key elements of Air New Zealand’s international promotion include:

- Billboard advertising in major cities around the Air New Zealand international network.

- High profile partnerships with consumer brands such as Virgin Megastore in Europe, Royal Mail (British post office) and Warner Village Cinemas in the UK to help promote Air New Zealand as “Airline to Middle-earth”.

- Trailers for the movies onboard international flights, together with exclusive compilations of footage containing behind-the-scenes footage.

- Air New Zealand presence on the official Lord of the Rings website.

- Air New Zealand to be exclusive passenger airline promotional partner with New Line Cinema for all theatrical, video and DVD releases of the remaining films in the UK, US, Japan, Australia and NZ.

- Access to official The Lord of the Rings merchandise and movie premieres as prizes to stimulate travel on Air New Zealand - plus film clips, logos, key art and photos for use in TV, radio, print, on-line and point of sale promotions.


December 13


Air New Zealand’s investment in the Lord of the Rings partnership with New Line Cinema has been driven by careful analysis of the power of movies to motivate people to travel.

As the largest private sector investor in promoting New Zealand tourism worldwide, the airline believes the New Line deal is a strategic investment which will stimulate incremental tourism growth for New Zealand.

Already one of the biggest grossing movies of all time and seen by an estimated 200 million households worldwide, The Lord of the Ring: Fellowship of the Ring is a huge commercial success.

In the UK, 1.27 million copies of the Fellowship of the Ring video/DVD were sold on the first day of release.

The independent Mercer research group study in the UK, conducted following the release of Fellowship of the Ring, showed that 22% of those questioned said the film had had made them more likely to choose New Zealand as a holiday destination.

Air New Zealand Chief Operating Officer Andrew Miller commented: “It’s no surprise that the influential US Food & Wine Magazine describes New Zealand as one of the most interesting destinations right now - stating that three key icons, “The Lord of the Rings, the America’s Cup and Sauvignon Blanc - are three reasons why New Zealand has become so fashionable.’

“Air New Zealand’s links to all three of these iconic New Zealand images is strong - reinforced with ongoing investment and international promotion.

We are committed to taking the very best of New Zealand to the world.”

The airline’s promotional strategy to push the Middle-earth message includes high-profile brand partners such as Virgin Megastores in Europe, Royal Mail (the British post office) in the UK and Variety Children’s Charity, New Line Home Entertainment, Cinemark Theatres and the Lord of the Rings Fan Club in the US.


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