Let’s face it: Airline safety videos are a tricky matter. It’s a challenge for carriers to present content that’s been heard a million times before in a way that makes it seem like it’s the latest thing. Furthermore, this prerecorded material should be creative enough to make passengers – from all backgrounds and attention spans – watch it from start to finish.
Fortunately, over the years, airlines have produced inventive safety videos, proving that with the right amount of imagination, it’s possible to make something as routine as reminding people to fasten their seatbelts fun and rather memorable. So, are these six short clips entertaining or just distracting? You be the judge.
1. Singapore Airlines
The Singapore Girl is a prominent element of the Singaporean national carrier’s marketing. Here, dressed in her signature sarong kebaya – made of traditional Asian batik and designed by Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain in 1968 – she takes passengers on a tour of the island city-state. Along the way, important instructions to ensure one’s safety on board are shown.
2. British Airways
This six-minute short features some of the the UK’s best-known actors, comedians and celebrities, such as Rowan Atkinson, Ian McKellen, Gordon Ramsay and Thandie Newton. Done in collaboration with the UK charity Comic Relief, these personalities are seen auditioning in sketches in front of comedian Asim Chaudhry – as his alter ego Chabuddy G –for a role in British Airways’ new safety video.
3. Philippine Airlines
According to the Philippine flag carrier, inflight safety is their top priority. In this nationwide crowd-sourced video, various individuals share safety procedures while enjoying some of the Southeast Asian archipelago’s attractions. It’s a safety video and tourism presentation cleverly rolled into one.
4. TAP Portugal
The Portuguese national airline recruited actual passengers to perform safety instructions in a set located in a hangar at its primary hub, Lisbon Airport. One thousand travellers from different nationalities tried out for a spot in the video, and only 25 were picked to take part in the production which took eight days to complete. All that effort paid off, since the video won the APEX Passenger Choice Award for Best In-Flight Video in 2013.
5. Air France
Living up to its reputation as the country that invented chic, this video from the French flag carrier features the actress Dorcas Coppins in a flight attendant’s uniform, delivering the safety message in both French and English. Simultaneously, five women in Breton tops and flowy skirts act out the instructions or hold props as a song by American electronic duo Glass Candy plays in the background.
6. Air New Zealand
To celebrate the third and final film in The Hobbit Trilogy – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – in 2014, the official airline of Middle-earth unveiled what it dubbed “The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made.” Directed by Taika Waititi, the four-minute-long clip stars Elijah Wood, Sylvester McCoy, Dean O’Gorman, John Rhys-Davies (as Gimli) and New Zealand’s own Sir Peter Jackson.