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ATW Editor's Blog

Is this the worst-ever airline flight safety video?

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Air New Zealand has released its latest flight safety video. The Kiwi airline is famous for its fun videos and they are usually popular, but I have to say that I think they’ve produced a dud this time.

The new video uses two actors – a Kiwi comedian and an American actress – and the “plot” crosses various Hollywood genres, from cop movie to romance in Paris to horror and finally, to Spaghetti Western.

I use the word “finally” deliberately because this thing is five minutes long. Two minutes in, and I am struggling to keep watching as I cringe at the slapstick “comedy”.

We all have different tastes, but this is a safety video. Isn’t the point that you watch it to the end? The most important information – where the exit doors are located – doesn’t come until more than three minutes into the video and, to paraphrase another (real) Hollywood movie, they lost me at two minutes.

My other complaint is that for those passengers who really don’t know how to fasten a seat belt or what to do with an oxygen mask, then this is a very difficult video to follow from a safety perspective. Safety instructions are disjointed and sandwiched between lengthy, distracting, extremely silly “movies”. If you are new to flying, I’ll bet you will only remember the movie segments and could easily miss or forget the safety parts altogether.

And if I were a frequent flier with ANZ, I’d find it really annoying to have this blared to me more than once. So I would close my eyes and turn up the iPod.

I hope I’m wrong. ANZ is a fine airline and well known for doing things differently – their different being very good almost every time. Their previous safety videos with themes such as the Hobbit, the much loved All Blacks rugby team, and even flight crew in body paint uniforms have been fun, popular and have clearly conveyed the safety message.

Lots of airlines struggle to hit the right balance between delivering a serious safety message and getting the attention of passengers, who all too often tune out the video altogether. United did a good one featuring crews around the world and a genuinely funny kangaroo. Air France has a chic one with attractive women in pretty frocks. Both are crystal clear with the safety instructions.

But sadly, I think the new ANZ safety video fails on both counts – it’s neither entertaining (maybe for those younger than 10 years), nor clear with the instructions. But is it the worst safety video ever made? Watch it here, email me your opinion and tell me which airline you would nominate for worst safety video.

karen.walker@penton.com

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