Voices of Travel

MIDDLE-EARTH – CLOSER THAN YOU THINK

Air New Zealand is giving Hobbit fans the chance to join the celebration with the stars at the red carpet premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Hollywood.

The Official Airline of Middle-earth has announced the key elements of its global marketing campaign two weeks ahead of the premiere of the second film in The Hobbit Trilogy, which is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. A key feature of the airline’s campaign, titled Middle-earth is closer than you think, is a competition to give three Hobbit movie fans from around the world the money-can’t-buy opportunity to attend the world premiere movie screening with a friend. A fourth lucky entrant will win a once-in-a-lifetime Middle-earth experience for two in New Zealand.

Before entering, fans will need to watch the airline’s newly released video — check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7q7WFMuxsg&feature=youtu.be — inspired by The Hobbit films that will feature on television and online from today. The video Just Another Day in Middle-earth stars Air New Zealand flight attendants, pilots, aircraft engineers, an aircraft marshal, baggage handlers and airport staff as themselves, with a cheeky film-inspired twist, and more than 120 extras. It aims to inspire travellers from around the world to take their own unexpected journey — with the key message “Middle-earth is closer than you think.”

The video also features Kiwi Dean O’Gorman, who plays dwarf Fili, and the voice of Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit Trilogy’s Radagast the Brown. Viewers of the video can enter for their chance to win one of four trips for two to their choice of either Middle-earth (New Zealand) or to the premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Los Angeles, including airfares, accommodation and rental car. Another feature of the Air New Zealand marketing campaign will be the unveiling of a Boeing 777-300 aircraft in special Hobbit film-inspired livery on Dec. 2 in Auckland. The flying billboard will leave that night for Los Angeles where it will touch down in time for the The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug premiere.

Tourism New Zealand figures from last year’s marketing activity around The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey show 82% of international survey respondents stated the campaign increased their interest in New Zealand. 8.5% of international visitors to New Zealand during January-March this year said The Hobbit Trilogy was a factor in stimulating their interest in New Zealand and one percent said it was the most important factor.

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