If you think all air-safety videos are boring, then you probably haven’t flown Air New Zealand. Their latest effort, the Hobbit-inspired “An Unexpected Briefing,” has gone well beyond the simple objective of capturing the attention of passengers, as it has gone viral and has already entertained millions of viewers on the ground. While this one is by far the most successful tongue-in-cheek video from “the airline of Middle-earth,” it’s certainly not the first.
Before “An Unexpected Briefing,” there was “Mile-High Madness with Richard Simmons,” “Crazy about Rugby,” featuring the All Blacks, and “Bare Essentials of Safety,” with the cast/crew dressed only in body paint. Here’s a “best of the best” mash-up of all three versions:
And New Zealand’s national airline has also given us “Ed and Melanie’s Safety Sketch,” with the voice talents of Ed O’Neill (Wreck It Ralph, Modern Family) and Melanie Lynskey (Two and a Half Men, Up in the Air):
Air New Zealand isn’t the only carrier using humor to grab eyeballs for this very important message. Three years ago, the UK’s Thomson Airways recast their video using children. It looks as if their lead spokes-girl might some day become a rival for Deltalina. She certainly has mastered the finger wag.
Who’s Deltalina? She’s Katherine Lee, the flight attendant chosen in 2008 to be the main presenter for Delta’s safety videos. He nickname comes from what some see as her resemblance to Angelina Jolie. Air safety has made Lee a star.
Back in 2007, Virgin American came up with this animated video, featuring such lines as “For the point zero zero zero one per cent of you who have never operated a seat belt before, it works like this.”
And finally, for the point zero zero zero zero one per cent of you who haven’t seen “An Unexpected Briefing,” with its cameos by Peter Jackson and Gollum, here it is. Enjoy.