Airlines like Delta and Virgin have turned one of the most stale and profoundly annoying parts of the flying experience into a mega branding opportunity. They gave their drab in-flight safety videos a major makeover and sure enough, virality ensued.
The trend of making the mundane, technical aspects of the consumer-business conversation more appealing is by no means a new one. Numerous brands have revamped their explainer videos and 404 page videos, for instance, to reflect their core culture and personality.
Aside from significantly increasing the chance that passengers will actually pay attention to the safety video and therefore familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations of flying, videos like these make brands seem more personable. You want a friend in the skies—you want to feel comfortable, not commanded. Moreover, by giving the video a facelift, brands are illustrating their allegiance to the needs of the consumer. They get it; you don’t want to be bored to tears.
Some people might think that this treatment actually detracts from the serious message the videos are meant to send. Perhaps they do in-flight, but what about when they exit the confines of the cabin and hit the digital runway? These videos have made tidal waves online.
Virgin’s snazzy video, which premiered in Times Square, seems perfectly in sync with its uber-sexy brand. Virgin amped up its video by getting celebrities like Kendall and Kylie Jenner and comedian Heather Mcdonald to do the “#VXsafetydance” and post it on their channels. Virgin’s safety video seems to reinforce its trendy, “what the cool kids fly” image and has already garnered over eight million views.
Delta’s video, on the other hand, seems to be furthering its image as an airline committed to making the flying experience dynamic and entertaining for passengers. Delta claims that it “introduced safety videos designed to be constantly updated with fresh scenes to reward even the most frequent of frequent flyers for paying attention.” The company’s holiday themed safety video last year got around 280,000 views online while its most recent offering, which premiered three days ago, already has over a million views.