Air NZ teams up Ronan Keating, Julian Dennison for Christmas song

Julian Dennison and Ronan Keating (Air NZ/Facebook)
Julian Dennison and Ronan Keating (Air NZ/Facebook)

Air New Zealand has paired up with singer Ronan Keating and rising Kiwi actor Julian Dennison to rejig a Christmas classic.

'Summer Wonderland' is a uniquely Kiwi take on 'Winter Wonderland', which since its creation 80 years ago has been recorded by the likes of Michael Buble, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby and even the Eurythmics.

It comes a day after TV3's current affairs show Story revealed a new version of Dennis Marsh's 'Christmas in New Zealand' is on the way.

The Air NZ video features Keating recording what he thinks is going to be a traditional rendering of 'Winter Wonderland', until producer Julian butts in to make it a little less wintry.

"Sleigh bells, are you listening / In the lane, snow is glistening," the ex-Boyzone frontman croons.

"I'm gonna stop you there," interrupts Julian. "It doesn't really snow down here at Christmas, so let's go with 'your bro is glistening' because a lot of people get sweaty down here. It's really sunny."

Keating hesitates, but complies. Then Julian suggests another change - changing the key line "walking in a winter wonderland" to "dodging heaps of prickles with your nan".

An increasingly frustrated Keating snaps when Julian adds a mention of the "Air New Zealand Skycouch, TM".

He goes outside and picks up an acoustic guitar, and with a little help from the Hunt for the Wilderpeople star, turns the awkward rhymes into something a little more lyrical - coming up with 'Summer Wonderland'.

Reaction to the track on Facebook, where Air NZ first posted the video, has been overwhelmingly positive.

"Love this! Making me feel a little homesick missing out on another kiwi Christmas!" wrote Nicole Prowse.

"Air New Zealand and their ad agency does it again! Wonderful!!! This will be a classic!!!" said Alix Harris.

It's looking like tough competition for Story and Marsh, whose revamped 'Christmas in New Zealand' is still at the recording stage.

The song originally came out in 2001, Marsh saying he too was sick of Christmas songs about log fires and cocoa.

"We're always doing the American thing - the bobsleighs, the snow and the white Christmases, and stuff like that. We thought well, come on - New Zealand's got its own Christmas. We do the swimming bit, we do down the beach, we do barbecues, and no one's written about those things."

If the 2016 remix goes to number one, he's promising to celebrate in the most Kiwi way possible.

"We'll put down a hangi!"

Last Christmas, Justin Bieber held not just the #1 spot, but also #2 and #4.


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