The humble airline safety video has been well and truly commercialised… It’s a trend that’s been slowly growing over the last few years but this latest effort from Chicago-based United Airlines is possibly the most blatant, or at the very least, maybe the least concealed we’ve seen.
United has partnered with Marvel and Sony Pictures to promote the latest instalment of the Spider-Man film franchise which is set to hit cinemas this summer – and if you’re travelling with the airline over the next few months, you’ll definitely notice the Spider-Man branding. First and foremost is the United x Spider-Man safety video.
Of course, this is nothing new. Several years ago, Air New Zealand had a long-running collaboration with the Lord of the Rings franchise, while the last two safety video’s from Turkish Airlines have been based on the Lego Movie (and it’s sequel). Other airlines, like Singapore and Qantas, have chosen to showcase and promote their home countries in their respective safety videos of late.
The collaboration between United and Spider-Man isn’t necessarily bad – it’s just not particularly good either. Credit where it’s due, at least United haven’t lost the essential safety critical messaging in amongst the efforts to shoehorn Spider-Man into various scenes. A worthy mention, especially in light of a recent series of serious aircraft accidents.
“For decades, Spider-Man has consistently shown the importance of using power to do good and to keep the public safe. We also believe that our greatest responsibility is to keep our customers and crew safe on board our aircraft,” said Mark Krolick, United’s Vice President of Marketing as explanation for the collaboration.
“We are excited to have Spider-Man and his friends, along with our employees, bring new attention to the inflight safety video and creatively engage customers on such an important announcement.”
True to the Marvel franchise, one scene features a framed photo of Stan Lee – the creative genius behind Marvel continues his cameo’s even after his passing. Another cameo comes in the form of United chief executive Oscar Munoz, although the leading roles were played by real United flight attendants, pilots and other staffers.
Some frequent flyers even bid their hard-earned air miles to appear in the video.
The safety video isn’t the only way that United will be working with Spider-Man to promote the latest film – Polaris Business Class customers will also be receiving a limited edition amenity kit featuring Spider-Man branded goodies, including socks and eyeshades.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is slated for cinema release in the United States on July 2nd.
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.