Just as Braniff airways shook up the fairly dull US airline sector in the ’60s by painting its planes bright colours and putting its hostesses in bright uniforms, Air New Zealand changed the way everyone looked at inflight safety videos by making them entertaining and, with its previous agency .99, it basically created a whole new—and quite powerful—media channel. So far we’ve seen painted bodies, All Blacks, lycra-clad, OTT aerobics instructors and puerile puppets. And for the first time the airline has decided to take an animated approach, with a new ’hand-drawn’ safety video featuring the voice talent of Kiwi-born actress Melanie Lynskey and Modern Family’s Ed O’Neill, as well as a range of “cameo appearances”.
We’ve previously featured body-painted airline staff, All Blacks and fitness guru Richard Simmons in our videos which have attracted more than 20 million views online,” says Air New Zealand general manager marketing and communications Mike Tod. “This time, we’re taking the opportunity to highlight the global reach of our business and to recognise world events and celebrities in a uniquely Air New Zealand way. That’s why customers will see world leaders who feature in election processes this year, Olympians competing to prove they are the best in the world, our All Black Captain and A-listers who are big in their markets today.”United States President Barack Obama, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and French President Francois Hollande feature alongside other well-known (and drawn) faces like All Black Captain Richie McCaw, Olympians Mahe Drysdale and Valerie Adams, television star Paul Henry, rapper Snoop Dogg, The Queen, Count Dracula and, if our eyes don’t deceive us, possibly even porn star John Holmes.
In recognition of the increasingly important Asian market, Kevin Tsai, a high-profile Chinese television personality who was named one of GQ China’s Men of the Year in 2011, and Chet Lam, a well-known musician and composer based in Hong Kong, also feature.
The new safety video, which features the Naked and Famous track Punching in a Dream and was created by its international agency Albion in the UK, will be progressively rolled out onboard all international and domestic jet flights from early July. And while there’s some impressive craftsmanship on display in the animated clip, there is a slight whiff of naff about it and we doubt it will be beating any of its previous safety vids in terms of YouTube views.
The airline has also launched a competition where people who identify more than five of the celebrities in the video can be in to win an around-the-world trip for two.