Friday, November 9, 2012

Can an in-flight safety video persuade you to go to the movies?

If you fly Air New Zealand soon you may get the chance to see something unexpected.  In place of the standard in-flight safety video which seems designed to put people to sleep, they are currently running a Hobbit-themed video featuring hobbits, elves, and even a cameo appearance by director Peter Jackson.  The promotion includes a chance to win passes to attend the world premiere of “The Hobbits.” (Russell, 2012)

But, what’s more interesting to me is the idea of turning a forced exposure into an entertainment/marketing opportunity.  I am reminded of a flight attendant I once had on an American Airlines flight, who added a bit of shtick to the standard message.  She got my attention, made me laugh and perhaps most importantly got me to tune into her speech instead of ignoring it as I usually do.

If you haven’t seen it, here it is below. 

So what do you think?  Is it a win win?

Russell, M.  (2012, November 7)  ‘The Hobbit’ Takes Over Air New Zealand’s In-Flight Safety Video.  Retrieved November 8, 2012, from,


  1. This is definitely a win-win! I usually tune out on a flight for the safety demonstration, as they always follow the same routine and a quite boring. But this safety video put a smile on my face even on steady ground. I would like to see this copied in other airline as well. Maybe we will see a Angry Bird safety video on Finnair someday (Finland is the proud home country of these birds) :)

    The video was also an excellent marketing opportunity for the upcoming The Hobbit movie. It also advertised New Zealand as the home country of hobbits, as Peter Jackson is a Kiwi.

    Nice work all in all!


  2. I think this one is a great idea, but only because it is something as recognizable as "The Hobbit" (Lord of the Rings).

    I think back to a time I took a "Very Disney" flight and shuttle which featured Mickey and co horsing around with the floatation devices and fasten seat belt signs. Every person on the plane (And the magic express bus that followed) were going to be in "the Happiest Place on Earth" shortly after, and these vignettes just got us- and especially the kids- even more excited for it.

    While Lord of the Rings is a definite draw, something like "Lincoln" probably wouldn't go over that well.

    It was afterall Batman who went to went to Mcdonalds, and not Scarface.


  3. It is common that passengers often do not pay attention to the security system on a demo video. Text and original style that makes me sleep over.

    Of course, This video makes me attractive to follow-up, Safety Video unusual. It is also a hot trend in the broader social network. My friend on facebook always talk about this video. By the way This is a first time i've paid attention to an airline safety video and content easy to understand.
    Nice job!


  4. I think the video is a great idea. It's definitely entertaining and ensures that people at least hear some of the safety procedures. It also calls out to people that are already fans of those movies and I think it will influence them as well as others to check out the movie when it comes out. The video is beneficial for both parties. I didn't know about a Hobbit movie before, but now I'm interested.


  5. Of course I think it's a win-win, because it is benefiting Air New Zealand and effectively promoting the upcoming film.

    I believe it is a great marketing strategy for the movie because it reaches many people at the same time in an unexpected way, which will definitely get their attention and make them aware of its premiere.

    This video is also giving Air New Zealand an added value, and is ensuring that many more people would see the safety procedure video instead of ignoring it.

    As a marketer, I think that doing this kind of unexpected events is the best way to capture people’s attention and awareness towards brands.