Air New Zealand’s Fanciful Safety Video Highlights Its Real Commitment to Conservation

The airline says it has transported 3,200 species to safety

A young girl pretending to pilot a plane looks at the camera
A girl's discovery of a rare flightless bird sets the stage for Air New Zealand's conservation-focused safety film. Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand’s new safety video is for the birds. Specifically, the endangered takahē, a flightless bird native to the country.

Titled “A Journey to Safety,” the endearing video shows a young New Zealander finding the endangered bird, named Mr. T,  outside of her treehouse.

With the help of Air New Zealand attendants and a tour of the island’s jaw-dropping beauty, including Fiordland National Park and the sanctuary island of Tiritiri Matangi, Mr. T makes it home to the Murchison Mountains,  one of the few places where the takahē roam wild.

Air New Zealand

The video aims to highlight the airline’s eight-year partnership with the country’s Department of Conservations, where it has transported more than 3,200 threatened species to safer habitats, all while funding marine and land conservation research.

“While it’s lighthearted on the surface, it conveys a really important message–our native birds need our help. Our safety videos have collectively generated more than 180 million views over the past decade, so what better medium to shine a spotlight on New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis,” said Air New Zealand’s general manager of global brand and content marketing, Jodi Williams in a statement to Adweek. “We’re really proud of the work we’re doing with [the] DOC, and hope Kiwis and visitors alike will not only delight in our latest video but take on the message behind it.”

The safety video’s featured star, the takahē, was thought to be extinct by the end of the 19th century but was rediscovered in 1948. Labeled as “nationally vulnerable” by New Zealand’s government, the population of the takahē  hovers around 400 but continues to grow every year.

The charming, high-production safety video is a spin on the airline’s previously star-studded fair. Touting the island nation’s setting as Middle Earth and the Shire, previous videos have leaned heavily on J.R. R. Tolkiens’s Lord of the Rings aesthetic. They have featured the films’ cast, including actor Elijah Wood and director, Peter Jackson. One film was directed by Oscar winner Taika Waititi.

The airline also turned to fitness guru Richard Simmons for a “Mile-High Madness” video, bright with neon and short shorts.

In a show of national pride, New Zealand’s national rugby team, the All Blacks, and Suits actor Rick Hoffman led the safety instructions before the Rugby World Championship in September. Even though they took home the bronze, the team hinted that’ll be back for another safety video for the next championship in 2023, set to be held in France.


Client – Air New Zealand
General Manager of Global Brand and Content Marketing – Jodi Williams
Senior Manager Brand Marketing – Erica Beagley
Brand Marketing Manager – Grace Blewitt
Senior Manager Content Marketing – Maria Ryan-Young
Content Delivery Manager – Saffron Jackson
Social Media Specialist – Nat Johnson
Creative Agency – Pitchblack Partners
Production Company – Jetblack
Director – Josh Frizzell, Eight
DOP – Darryl Ward
Editor – Tim Mauger
Animation – Toybox
Sound – Franklin Road
Music – Mahuia Bridgeman-Cooper

@RyanBarwick Ryan is a brand reporter covering travel, mobility and sports marketing.