Air New Zealand Rico the Puppet

Air New Zealand has recruited Rico, a globe trotting puppet, to promote the airline’s latest international seating arrangements. Rico appears in a television and online advertising campaign, happily providing double entendres and testing the limits of television advertising standards. In “Happy Hour” the furry frequent flyer shoots the breeze in the premium economy spaceseats. In “The Intimate Art of Touch” Rico helps a woman get up close and personal with the fancy screen in the back of the seat. Rico’s Facebook page includes photographs taken of him enjoying the South Island’s tourism spots, and a Facebook video with Jacquie Brown promoting his book, “Beating Off The Track”. The TV ads are being released on the Air New Zealand YouTube channel.

Air New Zealand Rico

Click on the image below to play the Happy Hour video.

Click on the image below to play the Intimate Art of Touch video.

Come back on October 20 to see the next three in the series. In “Story Time” Rico brings recites a classic nursery rhyme like it’s never been recited before. In “One to One” a passenger gets a pep talk from Rico. In “Relationship Advice” Rico gets caught up in the strange goings on in an economy skycouch.

Click on the image below to play the Story Time video.

The campaign is designed to showcase Air New Zealand’s international flight seating arrangements. The premium economy seating configuration allows couples to relax together and dine at a common table. “Skycouch” combinations are three seats that convert to two lie-flat beds. A couple can buy the third seat for about half price.

Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe talks about the campaign. Click on the image below to play the video..


The Rico campaign was developed at .99, Auckland, by executive creative director Craig Whitehead, creative director Craig Pethybridge, art director Dom Antelme, copywriter Jon Coles, agency producer Fiona Champtaloup, account director Matt Dickinson. Air New Zealand general manager marketing and communications Mike Tod, head of creative Jules Lloyd, project manager Jodi Williams, marketing producer Susan Davidson, group general manager (international airline) Ed Sims, social and viral media manager Tom Bates.

Filming was shot by director Josh Frizzell Curious Film with producer Seth Wilson, editors Tim Mauger and Luke Haigh. Rico’s puppet design was done at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, Los Angeles. Rico’s puppeteer was Tyler Bunch.

Music is by Joel Haines (Genyus Soundtracks).