Tech Tuesday :: Rico Suave

rico + air new zealand spokes-squirrelI'd like to introduce you to Rico, the pantless spokes-muppet-squirrel for Air New Zealand wearing nothing but a crisp white shirt and a Saturday Night Fever-inspired purple polyester vest. He's been around since fall 2010, but continues to heat up the internet and garner millions of views with his saucy brand of advertising rhetoric expounding the benefits of the airline, its home country and culture.

Gen X and Yers, you're supposed to listen to him, but not take him too seriously as he delivers humour-ridden key messages about his preferred airline. With two little fang-ish teeth, oversized bright green googly eyes, fur like my old teddy bear and a tail much longer than his entire body, his semi-cute looks let him get away with A LOT of free-spirited chatter.

Rico's chochy-meets-cute look says it all, he's suggestive, he's spicy and even though he speaks with a Spanish accent, he's born in New Zealand---a culture where advertising takes a few more liberties than in North America, hence Rico's less regulated internet {vs more regulated TV} platform. In case Rico's genre of humour-meets-advertising is offensive to you, don't forget that it comes from the Airline who's done flight safety videos with body painted flight attendants, a streaking grandma and Richard Simmons.

Love or hate the airline's furry fiend with a penchant for r-r-r-olling his Rs, Air New Zealand is all about attention, and they do it well. Really well, always staying on message, aside from the innuendoes. In their words {thanks a recent social media strategy video} "when you're a little airline from the bottom of the world, you have to throw out the marketing rulebook of you want to get noticed on the international stage."

Every time I watch one of these videos I'm a little shocked {which is the point} by who {think Lindsay Lohan and David Hasselhoff} and what they feature in a segment called "on the skycouch"---a play on the Airline's revolutionary fold-out seats-turned-beds in Economy. Yet no matter what celebrity raps or chats with Rico, I cant stop laughing.

Kudos to Rico for making me laugh---sometimes to the point of crying---and constantly reminding me that New Zealand is a country on my travel bucketlist I'd like to visit by way of a Skycouch!

{Trip Styler Tip :: Air New Zealand, flies direct to Auckland from Vancouver and LA. Note there are multiple other departure points with Air New Zealand's Star Alliance codeshare partners.} 

Starring Rico, Videos Rico with Giulinana Rancic

Rico with David Hasselhoff

Rico with Snoop Dogg

Rico Expressing His Love For Kim Kardashian

PS - check out this funny {as always} travel tech interview with Rico by ZDNet Australia. Order your meal via personal touchscreen, message other passengers and use your cell phone in-flight. Wow, what a concept, especially in comparison to planes with overhead monitors every 30 seats.

Related Sweet and Saucy Travel Videos Sassy Flight Safety Videos