Skift Take

A safety video which manages to be entertaining and promotes the brand is good. Marketing content designed to go viral, disguised as a safety video, is not. 

We are up to here with safety videos, and fear some airlines are in way over their heads in murky waters.

So it’s refreshing to see an airline get the formula right. With its latest destination-safety video, Qantas has struck the ideal balance between two airline marketing trends, without putting its reputation for safety at risk.

The video is part of a campaign developed in collaboration with Tourism Australia, and features “Australians from all walks talking passengers through the on-board safety instructions against the backdrop of locations across the country.”

The video was filmed in key destination settings and ticks all the boxes on the pre-flight checklist, while drawing attention to a range of activities which could appeal to visitors .

Scenes include a demonstration of oxygen mask use at the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, a life-jacket demonstration at Bondi Icebergs; and a demonstration of the brace position during a yoga class on Hamilton Island.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce describes the new safety video as “a unique platform” to promote tourism while “capturing the confident-but-relaxed Aussie personality”.

“We’ve experimented with different settings for our safety videos over the years, but this time we saw an opportunity to celebrate Australia itself,” Joyce says. “The result is something that we believe is really special and powerful, but warm, funny and down to earth at the same time, because it’s about everyday Australians. We’re confident that it’s going to grab people’s attention and get them focused on the safety information that every Qantas customer needs to know.

“It’s a video that people can really connect with, and there’s an opportunity to expand its reach by sharing it online and through social media – giving it a dual purpose as promotion for Australian tourism. Qantas has always been the biggest private sector supporter of Australian tourism and we’re delighted to be working with Tourism Australia on the social media campaign that goes with the new video.”

Qantas has borrowed a lot from Icelandair‘s eye-catching destination-based video from last year. And that’s a good thing.

Both videos put safety instructions in the foreground. The tone and setting are attention-grabbers, but the safety message is not diluted by other distractions.

In other words, the successful entertainment safety video doesn’t try to be too clever for its own good.

It is simple and delivers clear life-saving instructions so that the audience will pay attention and (hopefully) remember what to do in an emergency.

The successful safety video was not expressly designed by the marketing department to go viral. The safety department is still very much in control.

Viral Won’t Save Your Life or Your Brand

Online views do not translate to in-flight preparedness. And that is the point of pre-flight instructions. A quick flash of the card in the seat pocket won’t make up the gap. Otherwise, safety regulations would only require that flight attendants mention the cards in the pockets and hope that passengers read them.

What started off as a well-intentioned effort to improve flight safety through audience engagement, now sees some airlines go overboard without properly donning their flotation devices.

That’s not just jumping the shark, but diving in head-first to join the sharks for a swim.



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Tags: destination marketing, qantas

Photo credit: Qantas Airlines avoid murky waters with a destination-safety video that effectively communicates life-saving instructions. Qantas Safety Video Screen Image

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