Air New Zealand has shown unprecedented self-reflection with a tongue-in-cheek 'job application' inviting customers to apply for the position of 'head of safety videos'. The airline posted the image on its social channels on the evening of 1 February – after 24 hours of press surrounding its announcement that the 'It's Kiwi Safety' video was to be replaced with one from the archives.
The ad pokes fun at the poorly received safety video, while also halfway acknowledging the misstep by the airline of creating the video in the first place – the reader is told multiple times to 'just don't read the comments online'.
It seems the job application ad has already helped put Air New Zealand in better favour with its customers. The Facebook post has more than 10,400 positive 'reactions', 3,300 comments and 690 shares. Popular suggested candidates by commenters include Wellington Paranormal stars Officers O'Leary and Minogue, the nation's childhood hero Suzy Cato and How-to Dad's Jordan Watson.
Watson replied to the comment putting his name forward and expressed his interest.
Furthering Air New Zealand's ability to make fun of itself for the video flop, musician Kings – who starred in the fated 'It's Kiwi Safety' video – commented on the post saying he'd take the role, to which Air New Zealand replied: "You'll always have a seat at the table."
Original story, 1 February:
Air New Zealand has replaced the divisive 'It's Kiwi Safety' with the company's 2016 'Summer of Safety' video – citing a partnership with Northland tourism groups as the reason for the switch.
The canned safety video, created by True and Exposure, starred Kiwi actor Julian Dennison and local musicians Kings, Theia and Randa. It featured a rap to the tune of Run-DMC's 1986 song 'It's Tricky', and was slatted by a number of commentators including MP Shane Jones who described it as "cringe". Its last screening was on 31 January.
The airline reportedly spent $2.5 million on the three-month-old clip, which is now replacing with the December 2016 safety video. The 'Summer of Safety' stars Rachel Hunter, Olympic medalist Eliza McCartney, Game of Thrones actor Joe Naufahu and Shortland Street's Jayden Daniels. It was filmed in Northland.
In a press release, Air New Zealand announced the switch was due to a partnership with the Bay of Islands Marketing Group and Northland Inc. on a campaign of activity to attract more visitors to the region outside of the summer months. The safety video is due to be backed up by an upcoming Air NZ TVC and social media campaign.
Air New Zealand dodged repeated attempts by StopPress to get comment on whether the reversion has anything to do with the negative reaction to the safety video, and whether a new video will be created to replace 'Summer of Safety' in the coming months.
Comments on the It's Kiwi Safety video.
In the release, Air New Zealand head of regional affairs Reuben Levermore said the new partnership is part of the airline's wider commitment to supporting the success of New Zealand economically and socially.
"Air New Zealand is committed to working with councils, regional tourism offices, airports, chambers of commerce and iwi to build demand for visitation to regional New Zealand. We want to see regions benefit from sustainable tourism growth, including by attracting visitors in off-peak periods."
The 'It's Kiwi Safety' video was the second safety video launched by the airline in 2018, and the second consecutive video to receive bad press. In March 2018, Air New Zealand launched the 'World's coolest safety video’ – set in Antarctica, with many describing it as insensitive given the continent is the site of the airline's worst disaster.
The latest series of gaffes have left many wishing for the simpler time when the Air New Zealand safety videos made a splash for the right reasons – including with 2009's 'Bare Essentials' and 2014's 'The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made'.