Titled "The Bear Essentials of Safety", the video was launched on 26 February online and has already drawn more than 1 million views. Air New Zealand released a teaser video for the video three days ahead of the launch, both online and on New Zealand television—the first time the brand has taken such a step.
Air NZ has drawn recognition for its extremely viral tongue-in-cheek safety videos. Its 'Bare Essentials of Safety' video in 2009, featuring flight attendants clad in nothing more than body paint, has drawn more than 9 million views, and the more recent Hobbit-themed 'An Unexpected Briefing' (featured below) has garnered more than 10 million views.
The latest installment was filmed in a remote part of the Routeburn Track near Fiordland in New Zealand's South Island late last year. The video shows Grylls roaming about the wild, armed with a giant fish and sustained by glow worms—interspersed with improbable appearances by plane-safety paraphernalia such as oxygen masks and flotation devices.
The video also features three Kiwi Scouts, in honour of Grylls status as Chief Scout to the UK Scout Association, entomologist Ruud Kleinpaste, a Tuatara and the extinct Moa.
The video was filmed with the support of the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC). The creative agency was True and the production was by Exposure.
“Air New Zealand and DOC have developed a deep partnership where we can combine our assets for the benefit of our nation," said Air New Zealand chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod.
Bear Grylls, continued Tod, was the ideal in-flight safety ambassador. “We hope the global attention this safety video will receive generates more awareness of our amazing country and gets a few more bums on seats," he said adding that the video was well worth the logistical challenges of creating it.
The launch of the video is bolstered by an online competition with a trip for two to New Zealand from anywhere in the world as prize. The reward includes a 10-day New Zealand holiday with the winner's choice of six adventure activities from a list that ranges from swimming with dolphins in Doubtful Sound to hot air ballooning across the Canterbury Plains.