Savvy airlines know if you’re going to explain how to buckle a seat belt for the umpteenth time, it’s better to put an entertaining gloss over the same-old mandated speech. Getting a little social media buzz in the process, well, that’s just a bonus.
Take Air New Zealand, who has made no fewer than five themed safety videos as a way to stand out in a crowded market. The carrier’s just-released latest was made in collaboration with Sports Illustrated in the postcard-perfect Cook Islands, garnering more than 2 million hits on YouTube in a few short weeks. Since October 2012, its slightly less sexy (unless you’ve got a thing for elvish ears) Hobbit-themed vid has attracted more than 11 million views.
American carriers are taking note. Virgin America enlisted Hollywood’s go-to dance movie director and an American Idol alum for a catchy-as-all-get-out number featuring 14 different dance styles that instantly went viral this past October.
Less-cheeky carriers like Delta are now stepping up. “By sprinkling in gags and switching up the videos every six months, we’ve found that our customers are more engaged,” perhaps even enjoying the important messages, explains marketing communications director Mauricio Parise. Its latest, a blast-from-the-past overload of ’80s nostalgia, is more fun than a Game Boy—or doing the worm down the aisle.
Ready to be reminded where the exits are? Read on to watch the world’s most entertaining airline safety videos.