DEBUT 2010

Rico is a rodent character created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop in 2010 for a series of Air New Zealand advertisements. He speaks in a cracked, vaguely European accent, which makes his enthusiastic appreciation of New Zealand and the airline sound suggestive.

According to an article in the New Zealand Herald, some of the staff members of Air New Zealand were offended by the new commercials: "His humour is in double entendre - he speaks of New Zealand beaches as "nice Kiwi bitches" and hiking as "beating off the track". Other jokes are cruder... The advertising campaign also showed Rico as a staff member encouraging strangers to have sex on new reclining seats and showed him grabbing the crotch of a passenger." An airline marketing manager dismissed complaints, saying that humor is "a very personal thing".[1]

In his final advertising campaign, Rico was murdered, and Facebook users were invited to attempt to solve his murder via an online game site. The murderer was ultimately revealed as Richard Simmons, who attacked Rico with a stiletto heel in his Billiard Room for jumping two more jumping jacks than him.



  1. Meng-Yee, Carolyne. "Staff are appalled by Air NZ's sleazeball mascot", New Zealand Herald, January 23, 2011.
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