Hobbits, nudity and rugby players: Air safety videos people want to watch!
November 22, 2012
Do you tune out the airline safety videos at the start of every flight? You’re not alone. But Air New Zealand has found a way to engage passengers by coming up with brilliantly creative air safety videos that get viewed over and over again.
The latest video, “An Unexpected Briefing” is a marketing tie-in to the upcoming Hobbit trilogy, which was filmed in New Zealand. The hilarious video didn’t involve an ad agency and was brainstormed within Air New Zealand’s own marketing team. The four-minute video features a mix of actors, crew and even “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson, complete with Hobbit feet. It was filmed over three days with the Academy Award-winning Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, the production company behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Although this video is their biggest hit, – it’s already clocked more than 9 million views on YouTube in the first 2 weeks it’s been out – this isn’t the first time the airline has gone to great lengths to make innovative safety videos. Their three-and-a-half minute “Bare Essentials of Safety” clip had passengers’ eyes glued to airplane screens.
This safety video features a real pilot and cabin crew dressed only in body paint that mimics their uniforms. As the crew demonstrates to passengers what to do in case of emergency, viewers closely watch the video to see if the crew’s private parts remain cleverly hidden by oxygen masks, life jackets and luggage.
Another safety video, “Mile High Madness” features Richard Simmons and a cast of bouncy aerobic dancers, while the humourous “All Blacks” is peopled by the players and coaches of New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team.
So what can your organization learn from Air New Zealand? For starters, that a dull or predictable tightly scripted topic like safety in an aircraft can be turned into a riveting four minutes your audience will want to watch. And on a marketing level, Air New Zealand has found a distinctive way to stand out from their competition in an industry that is highly regulated, highly competitive and largely undifferentiated. Their boldly innovative marketing approach – taken right to the level of their flight safety videos – is one that any company can learn from.
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