Airline Safety Videos Are Just Marketing Clips Now

We already know what they're going to say. We're just in it for the creativity at this point.

Be honest. When was the last time you listened to an in-flight safety video? Or even to the flight attendant standing steps away from you trying to explain how you would save your own life in the event of an emergency? Nope. We’ve heard it all before. We know all about putting the mask on our own faces before putting it on a child’s. The seat’s a floatation device. We got it. It’s much more important that we check one last email before we’re forced to put away our devices.

So now we get safety videos that have high production value, some valuable safety information, but also some entertainment value. Moreover, they’re marketing clips that present the airline as a carrier that will inject a little fun into what will likely otherwise be a cramped and otherwise not-so-pleasant experience. At least if you’re in coach.

We’ve seen Air New Zealand’s Hobbit-themed video, along with another featuring Sports Illustrated swimsuit models. Virgin America has the #VXSafetyDance that looks like a full blown music video.

And now we have the meme-themed Delta safety video featuring every meme known to man, from the cat on the Roomba to the double rainbow guy. Mediaite says its an attempt to appear hip. Kotaku calls is straight up “garbage,” “obnoxiously tired references rehashed predictably, over and over and over” and a video that fails to “add anything to the jokes it references.” Strong feelings.

We don’t need another lesson on how to buckle our seat belt. Instead, these videos serve as one more way for airlines to connect with their (disgruntled, tired, hungry or probably delayed) passengers. So while it’s a creative way to pass along a safety message, the larger purpose of these over-the-top safety clips is to provide six minutes of on-the-ground branded entertainment. If they can squeeze one smile out of you — or maybe just a few passing glances in the direction of the screen — mission accomplished.