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That used to be enough, but with so many frequent flyers now ignoring essential safety presentations, airlines have had to become much more creative with their offerings to grab the audience’s attention.
In this highly entertaining video, Virgin Atlantic uses a passenger’s own indifference as a plot device.
So when he drifts off to sleep, his dreams explore different film genres which work as the backdrop for the safety message.
So, the oxygen masks are deployed during a car chase sequence and cigarettes are extinguished on a train in a film noir clip.
And as each scene changes, the voice over changes too, taking in camp 60’s Batman style, clipped pre-war English upper-class and more.
The visuals are a delight, but it’s the excellent voice acting that ties everything together.
Air New Zealand took this concept of ‘inflight infotainment’ one step further by tying in the release of the final film in the Hobbit trilogy with their safety video.
It works as a great advert for the airline and in-flight safety, for the country of New Zealand, and for the film, which is probably some kind of record for multitasking!
Although it doesn’t feature a voice-over, it’s worth including here as a great example of the power of a concept for solving the problem of engaging the passengers’ attention.
Another notable example that does use a voice-over to great effect is this one from Icelandair.
The narrator’s relaxing native tones are as soothing as they are authentic.
You almost want him to read you some epic poetry or regale you with an Icelandic saga, but the script alone feels satisfying, because it’s really well done.
Once again, the actions of the traveler are used to illustrate the safety requirements.
It’s engaging because she begins her journey in the film as a fellow passenger who is then seen exploring Iceland itself.
Kayaking, seeing the Northern Lights, hiking through the beautiful landscape, and jumping off a waterfall into some presumably very cold water.
The safety messages coincide with her activities, combining to create something that encourages travelers to pay attention to the information that they need, whilst simultaneously relaxing them.
Just as Air New Zealand did, Icelandair has taken something that could have been mundane and transformed it into an advert for the beautiful country it serves and for its own brand.
Even without the great concept, the voice they’ve chosen would still be a delight to listen to, but the impact of the presentation would have been lessened.
This is why it’s so important to consider how all the elements of the project will come together.