Air New Zealand Takes Millennials to Paradise with New Safety Video

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

Air New Zealand, a popular New Zealand airline company, released their “Safety in Paradise” video earlier this month. This is the newest in-flight safety video they will be playing before the flights take off. While the safety information may be a legal requirement, it sure does not feel like that to passengers. Safety in Paradise was filmed in the Cook Islands and features four Sports Illustrated bikini models to honor the magazine’s 50th annual swimsuit edition. Needless to say, this is NOT your traditional safety video.

This is not the airline’s first creative video. In fact, Air New Zealand is quite notorious fortheir unique safety videos. Often times famous figures are featured in the films. Their previous in-flight safety video that was Hobbit themed and always get a good laugh out of the passengers. While this video may not be humorous, it clearly still has appeal. Within 5 days of its release, Safety in Paradise had already gone viral with 1.2 million views on YouTube. However, with all the popularity came much heat for being offensive and inappropriate. Regardless of whether it’s considered enjoyable or inappropriate, the bottom line is that went viral and is widely popular.

Why all the fame? And how does it have to do with millennials? On the surface it may appear to be a simple effect of social media and the ability of content to be rapidly shared. After all, The Futures Company just released data showing that YouTube is passing Facebook as millennials’ favorite social media medium. Data showed that  50% of teens surveyed said YouTube was one of their favorite websites, while only 45.2% voted for Facebook.

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Perhaps a more in-depth look of this video, however, will reveal something greater than just a popular website. It’s a matter of creativity and innovation. Air New Zealand has put a new and unique twist on safety videos, turning them from boring legal requirements to something people enjoy. While this transformation is something all airline passengers can appreciate, it really hits home with millennials as a common theme among the generation is peer affirmation; if they see content they enjoy and think other people would too, they share it. While this concept may seem painstakingly simple, it is rooted in an underlying theme of millennials.

Research shows that millennials have an overwhelming tendency to appreciate content that they can connect to themselves through their personal beliefs or preferences. They are willing, rather wanting to share content they can relate to. In the instance of Safety and Paradise, millennials are connecting with the idea of disruption. Air New Zealand has redefined a several-decade old trend, and millennials appreciate that, as just about every aspect of the generation seems to follow the trend of embracing disruption.

Negative backlash aside, you can’t deny the ‘buzz’ this innovative strategy created, reminding us that there is significant power behind the “share”.  Brands that find ways to make traditional messaging shareworthy will continue to see the impression they make with Millennial consumers.

Scott Fromm contributed to this post.

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About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.