Your aircraft is finally set for takeoff – you’ve somehow snagged a fantastic seat, got loads of room and even a spare seat to spread across. Time to sit back and relax. But wait just one minute – there’s one last thing to do before you switch off and enjoy the flight. Some say it’s vitally important, other’s pay no attention whatsoever – it’s of course, the mandatory in-flight safety demonstration.
Yawn… You’ve seen it a million times before but some airline’s go out of their way to try and grab your attention. Enter Air New Zealand, the Kiwi airline who have turned the humble (and boring) safety demo video into a work of art and sometimes comedy.
It started back in 2009 – the airline’s safety team realised passengers weren’t paying any attention to the all important safety information. How could they get across legally mandated information and actually get their passengers to take notice?
It turns out that a groundbreaking safety video that used near naked cabin crew dressed only in body paint did just the trick. With just some very clever camera angles to protect their modesty, the crew featured in Air New Zealand’s ‘Bare Essentials of Safety‘ video racked up a huge three million views online in just 10 days.
Not only was it a genius way to present safety information but it turned out to be a publicity masterstroke, gaining massive worldwide attention for what is otherwise a tiny airline. A new style of safety demo was born.
Of course, Air New Zealand isn’t the only airline to have used comedy, music and a lot of acting skills to get their safety messages across but it’s undoubtedly the most famous. The ‘Bare Essentials of Safety’ was followed by ‘Men in Black Safety Defenders‘, ‘Mile High Madness with Richard Simmons‘ and ‘An Unexpected Briefing‘,
The last time Air New Zealand’s safety video got a reboot was back in 2014 with ‘The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made‘ – made to coincide with the final film in The Hobbit Trilogy. It featured Elijah Wood and Sir Peter Jackson, helping the airline rack up 20 million online views.
That’s quite a big pair of boots to fill. Which is probably why Air New Zealand has gone for a slightly different approach with its latest attempt. Check out the brand new safety video that the airline released today:
Set in an alternative ‘Alice in Wonderland’ style universe the video features Cuba Gooding Jr, Hollywood actress, Katie Holmes and two of the Air New Zealand cabin crew team. Titled ‘A Fantastical Journey’, the short film takes viewers on a magical journey around New Zealand – but not everything is as it seems.
The backing track is a version of My Little Corner of the World, sung by Kiwi singer and songwriter Gin Wigmore.
“With the help of Hollywood stars Katie Holmes and Cuba Gooding Jr. our latest safety video takes viewers on a journey taking in New Zealand’s stunning beauty, incredible culture, friendly people and amazing flora and fauna, while also sharing the airline’s key safety messages,” explained Jodi Williams, General Manager of Global Brand and Content Marketing.
She continued: “We’ve taken a different approach creatively with our latest safety video… to help take people on a magical tour of the country.”
As safety videos go, it’s actually quite basic. They’ve really stripped down a lot of the information you would normally expect – and yet it still drags on for nearly four minutes. This could be a great film for passengers preparing for a dream trip to New Zealand. Whether it will be quite so popular with frequent flyers is a different matter altogether.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.