Air New Zealand has teamed up with Sports Illustrated Magazine for their latest inflight safety video, "Safety in Paradise". Models Christie Brinkley, Jessica Gomes, Chrissy Teigen, Hannah Davis and Ariel Meredith are all part of the bikini-clad line-up to hopefully spice up the safety brief and make you pay attention.
We're beginning to see more and more safety videos shot well away from the aircraft, and this video is no exception. Air NZ head of global brand development Jodi Williams said the video has generated a lot of "money-can't-buy-this" conversation around the world about the company brand and the Cook Islands as a destination... a location many that don't share our corner of the Pacific are even aware existed.
The video that most people hate to watch in an aircraft (but love to watch online) has been viewed 7,143,903 times on YouTube.
Air New Zealand spokesperson Andrew Aitken said the airline was not concerned about a potential backlash from passengers over the portrayal of women in the video. So, it doesn't matter what you think - the campaign is about being a marketing whore, not respecting the values of those that they carry.
AirNZ were quick to release a statement addressing the almost immediate and widespread criticism saying that, "... we'll have inflight safety videos that people love or people hate. But at the end of the day it's about taking risk and embracing risk intelligently. And that's what we've trying to do across the whole of the business as a result."
Thank goodness the same people that address risk in a marketing sense don't have any say over flight operations.
The fuzzy line between a safety video and a blatant marketing message is becoming seriously blurred. Is this just a glossy (paid?) advertising campaign from Sports Illustrated forced down the throat of
viewers passengers when they have an obligation to watch?
Without question, we'll soon see Air New Zealand revert to an older safety video once the airline has milked the return on their investment. It's only after they've bathed in the inevitable publicity-sucking backlash that the safety video will be relegated to a quiet corner on YouTube (given the nature of early comments on the video site it'll be interesting to see how long it takes ANZ to close comments on YouTube as a means of feedback).
Edit: Behind the Scenes of "Safety in Paradise". Viewed 917,098 times on YouTube.
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