Air New Zealand has teamed up with multi-platinum artist Ronan Keating and rising acting star Julian Dennison to record a uniquely Kiwi take on one of the world’s most iconic Christmas songs, rewritten to celebrate the magic of a Southern Hemisphere Christmas.
The online video Summer Wonderland captures the fun as Hunt for the Wilderpeople star Julian Dennison directs a reluctant Ronan Keating in a witty rewrite of Walking in a Winter Wonderland, to better reflect the festive season down under.
Air New Zealand’s General Manager Global Brand and Content Marketing Jodi Williams says the homegrown lyrics will remind local audiences of the moments that make a Kiwi Christmas, while the song also sends an enticing message to prospective visitors around the world.
“The idea of sleigh bells and snow doesn’t really resonate for us in the Southern Hemisphere so we wanted to have fun with the concept of ‘carol equality’ and come up with a song we Kiwis and Aussies can relate to.
“We hope the video will not only spread festive cheer but will also stand out against more traditional Christmas advertising, inspiring travellers to come down and see you don’t need winter to enjoy our wonderland.”
Ronan Keating says that while he and Julian Dennison are an unlikely duo, they had plenty of laughs recording the antipodean remix.
“I’m a big fan of New Zealand, both the country and the people and also of Air New Zealand. I love their humorous on board safety videos and of course, the great inflight experience.
“Working with Julian was a breeze – he’s an absolute legend, incredibly professional, and to top it off, he can definitely sing.”
Teenager Julian Dennison plays the part of Ronan Keating’s producer in the video and says even though he was in awe of the music legend, their jam session was one of his career highlights.
“My job in the video is to sell Ronan on the idea of a sunny outdoor Christmas – the kind of day I’m looking forward to sharing with my family, jamming on the guitar or ukulele and chillaxing.
“For me Christmas is about getting people together and in the groove, so what better way to celebrate than to cut a track on why a Kiwiana Christmas is epic,” says Mr Dennison.
Air New Zealand’s Summer Wonderland was released today on the airline’s social media channels. The online video can be viewed and the audio track is available for download here.