Air France’s New Safety Video Is Stylish to the Point of Being Downright Silly

Cute or condescending?

Ladies, if you're looking for a seat belt that "will elegantly highlight your waistline," Air France has the on-board safety video for you.

The airline's new instructional video is certainly stylish and unique, but it also walks the line between fanciful imagery and feminine stereotypes.

Made by BETC and slickly choreographed, the whimsical clip goes through all the standard airplane safety stuff—exit locations, tray tables, etc. But as is the trend these days, it also has a lot of fun with the presentation, delivered by five women in color-coordinated outfits.

If you find the form-fitting seatbelt to be flattering, I hear the oxygen masks bring out your cheekbones, too. Yeesh.

The costumes and color palette anchor a fun and playful late 1950s-early 1960s vibe, reminiscent of that bygone era where people dressed up and got excited to fly (or maybe just of an Old Navy commercial). The winking approach extends to the props, with cutesy set pieces where the actresses play with smartphones and tablets—pictures of cats on the screens, naturally—hidden away inside giant, pastel-colored books. Because isn't that cheeky and endearing?

It is, in a way. But if the tone were less condescending, the whole thing might fly better. David Kiefaber is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak.