Ronan Keating re-creates Christmas hit for Air NZ with rising Kiwi actor

Air New Zealand has launched what could be the Christmas ad of the year, featuring Ronan Keating and newly-discovered Kiwi actor Julian Dennison reimagining classic Christmas song ‘Winter Wonderland’ for the southern hemisphere.


The video, created by Host, features a miserable Keating in a recording studio being directed by his producer, Julian, as they try to adapt the lyrics to the popular Christmas hit.

When Ronan gets fed up with Julian calling him “Roman” and constantly changing the lyrics, Keating goes outside with his guitar with Julian and creates ‘Summer Wonderland’.

The lyric changes such as “ice-blocks glistening”, “in the arvo we can grab the wickets”, and “pass the can of mozzie spray around”, celebrate the warmer weather Christmas that travellers can experience in the southern hemisphere.

Jodi Williams, general manager, global brand and content marketing at Air NZ, said the change of lyrics was deisgned to show off the best moments of a Kiwi Christmas and the airline hopes the ad will encourage visitors to consider spending Christmas in the sun.

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,” Williams said.

Williams hopes the ad will stand out against other traditional ads and remind visitors they don’t need snow to enjoy Christmas.

Keating said the collaboration with Air New Zealand and Dennison was easy and fun.

“Working with Julian was a breeze – he’s an absolute legend, incredibly professional and, to top it off, he can definitely sing.”

Dennison, a New Zealand actor, was picked from a casting call while at school to star in the New Zealand film ‘Shopping’, for which he won best supporting actor at the New Zealand Film Awards, said the Air New Zealand ad was a career highlight.

“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,” Dennison said.

The campaign will roll out on the airline’s social media channels.


  • Client: Air New Zealand
    Agency: Host
  • Executive Creative Director: Bob Mackintosh
  • Creative Director: Jon Austin
  • Managing Director: Laura Aldington
  • Account Manager: Andrew Dengate
  • Planning: Tobey Duncan
  • Content Production: Eleanor Rout
  • Digital Production: Chris Smyth
  • Talent Integration: Bring
  • Director: Craig Melville
  • Prod co Producer: David Curry
  • Production Company: Jungle
  • Music arrangement – Song Zu, Nathan Cavaleri
  • Sound mix – Song Zu, Simon Kane
  • Lyrics: Bob Mackintosh and Jon Austin
  • Talent Integration: Bring
  • Director: Craig Melville
  • Production Company: Jungle
  • Music arrangement – Song Zu
  • Sound mix – Song Zu

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