Santa struggles with the Kiwi accent in latest Air New Zealand Christmas piece

Father Christmas creates “Biscuitballs”, “earplanes” and a “puggy bank” after misunderstanding the accents of Kiwi kids in Air New Zealand’s latest festive content campaign.

Father Christmas cannot get to grips with the Kiwi accent in latest Air New Zealand piece

A Very Merry Mistake is a three-minute long film which shows Father Christmas and an elf fielding calls from children around the world. But when Santa hangs up on a call from a child in China a bell tolls and the sign on the wall rolls around to read New Zealand, leading to a tense moment between the pair.

Santa’s misunderstanding of the children’s accents leads to the creation of some unusual items, before an elf bursts in from the workshop to demand to know what is going on.

Father Christmas then summons a team of Air New Zealand cabin crew to help translate and clear up the confusion.

The piece follows the last year’s massively successful Summer Wonderland campaign which starred Ronan Keating and actor Julian Dennison creating a Christmas carol fit for the Kiwi way of life.

Air New Zealand Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Mike Tod says the airline wanted to celebrate the festive season in a uniquely New Zealand way.

“While it’s no secret the Kiwi accent has been misunderstood at times, it’s also a signature part of our service.  In fact, for many Kiwis, being welcomed onboard an Air New Zealand flight by crew after being offshore for some time makes them feel instantly back at home.

“We wanted to celebrate the festive season and the Kiwi accent in a humorous and uniquely Air New Zealand way.”

Miriam Meyerhoff, Professor of Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington says: “New Zealand English has had 150 years to go native.

“In that time, the short vowels have wandered and that’s what makes it sound so distinctive – as the flight attendant in the video explains.  It’s great to see Kiwis owning this distinctiveness and embracing it for comic effect.”

In just four hours the piece had already been shared more than 2,500 times on Facebook.


  • Client: Air New Zealand
  • Creative Agency: Host/Havas
  • CCO: Darren Spiller
  • ECD: Jon Austin
  • Senior Copywriter:  Hadleigh Sinclair
  • Senior Art Director:  Jack Delmonte
  • Group Account Director:  Oli Cassidy
  • Senior Account Director:  Jo Thomasson
  • Planning Director: Jess Page
  • Senior Broadcast Producer:  Karen Muxworthy
  • Production Company: FINCH
  • Director: Alex Roberts
  • Executive Producer: Corey Esse
  • Producer: Amy Dymond
  • Director of Photography: Tim Tregoning
  • Production Designer: Bruce Everard
  • Editor: James Ashbolt,
  • Edit House: ARC Edit
  • Post-Production: FINCH VFX
  • Music: Song Zu
  • Photography by Matt Baker
  • Photography Production: Louis & Co
  • Media agency: Dentsu Aegis Network

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