Air Safety: The Musical, the Comedy, and the Reality Show

Several airlines have decided that typical, stodgy air safety videos aren’t getting the job done, so they’ve gone to great lengths to punch them up with some flair and pinache. And some of those airlines are upping the ante by making their creativity a trend.

I’ve already written about six previous attention-grabbing videos, and here’s a look at three more—the newest offerings from Virgin America and Air New Zealand:

  • Virgin America Safety Video
    A music/dance video featuring past contestants from American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance (with a couple contortionists, too), it’s directed by John M. Chu, the director of Step Up 2, Step Up 3, and Justin Beiber’s  Never Say Never. Future inflight-dancer wannabes can Instagram their best moves with #VXsafetydance to audition for a sequel.
  • Safety Old School Style
    Air New Zealand’s latest offering stars Betty White and Gavin MacLeod (of The Love Boatlook here if you’re too young to remember). It’s set at the “Second Wind Retirement Resort” and has lots of one-liners and sight gags poking fun at the senior-citizen set.
  • The Bear Essentials of Safety
    Man vs. Wild‘s Bear Grylls takes this Air New Zealand video to the great outdoors—New Zealand’s Routeburn Track, to be exact. Take a look if you’d like to see what exit-row lighting would look like if the plane were a cave and glow worms lit the way.

I think it’s time that someone started a set of awards for all these videos. We have the Emmies. We have the Razzies. How about the Safeties?

(Frances Cha, “Step Up’ Meets Robot Dancers in Virgin America’s New Over-the-Top Safety Video,” CNN, October 30, 2013)


5 thoughts on “Air Safety: The Musical, the Comedy, and the Reality Show

  1. Fun stuff! I am curious, though… Why the sudden burst of money into these entertaining and expensive safety videos? Have the marketing departments all simultaneously decided it will give them an edge? Do their insurance carriers give them a discount if they can finally convince passengers to pay attention to the safety speech?


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