Air New Zealand partnered with Sports Illustrated in February to celebrate the magazine’s 50th anniversary and make an airline safety video. (???)
But once the video went public, it was met with push back from activists in Australia, namely Natasha Young, who launched an online petition to have the video nixed because it “objectifies” women and “disregards those who are conservative” and have conservative sensibilities. That spawned a hashtag, #AirNZsexism. The petition attracted 11,000 signatures. And now, Air New Zealand has pulled the video.
The airline says the video — which stars Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, including Chrissy Teigen and Christie Brinkley — has been pulled as a matter of course; it regularly rotates the clips the airline says.
Honestly, the video isn’t the most offensive thing you’ll see all day, unless you’re easily offended by high levels of cheesiness. And some of the claims in the petition are a bit on the extreme side. (“This video offends those who value the right to choose. Air NZ appears determined to insist that skies are sexy regardless of who they offend.”)
But the whole idea behind the partnership is gratuitous. We’ll give the airline an iota of credit for including a hot pool boy. But seriously, you don’t need to have women in bikinis to sell safety.
No industry is more notorious for putting woman in as little clothing as possible and having them parade around to push product than the beer industry. So here we have a Guinness clip that’s eye-catching because it takes a different path. Sure, it’s pulling at the heartstrings in a heavy-handed way, but everybody keeps their clothes on and it has a message we can certainly all get behind. Released in time for the July 4th holiday, it gets the point across pretty effectively. And as a bonus, the company got some good press from Business Insider.