Why Airlines Have It Right with Video

If you’re in business, chances are you’ve done a decent amount of traveling throughout your career. Whether for client meetings or conferences, many professionals spend a lot of their time jetsetting from city to city (or even country to country!) — which means it’s probably safe to say that we’ve all seen that boring, repetitive safety video more times than we can count (you know, the one that tells you which electronic devices you can and can’t use, and when it’s okay to unbuckle your seatbelt)?

Fortunately, it seems that airlines are beginning to catch on to how desensitized their audiences have become to their safety videos, and have started adjusting their strategies accordingly. Let’s take a look at two of these new safety videos, from Air New Zealand and Virgin America, respectively, to see what they’re doing right — and what we can learn from them.

Air New Zealand

This video from Air New Zealand capitalizes on the airline’s connection to the Lord of the Rings franchise (for those who weren’t aware, New Zealand is where the films were shot). By incorporating recent pop culture into their video, Air New Zealand has not only created more relevant marketing, but also more unique marketing. The airline also didn’t hesitate to add humor to their safety video — an aspect that many of the safety videos of the past have lacked.

B2B Lesson: Don’t be afraid to do one of two things: a) incorporate culturally relevant events or stories into your marketing, as long as you can tie them back to your business, and b) be fun! If you’re a B2B marketer, you may find that many of your marketing campaigns have been done before. Don’t let your marketing get stale — tie your content to industry conferences and events, try making videos about current topics of interest, or write blog posts about marketing lessons you learned from your favorite movies. The opportunities are endless!

Virgin America

Similar to the approach taken by Air New Zealand, Virgin America has chosen to incorporate humor into their video, along with flashy song and dance routines that make their video visually appealing, easy on the ears, and most importantly, effective (and for those who can’t follow along with the singing, the video has captions for easy reading). With catchy lyrics and occasional breaks to explain the safety procedures, the message comes across just as clearly as it does in a traditional safety video — except this time, more people will listen to it.

B2B Lesson: Try taking an unconventional twist with your marketing, not only with videos, but with your other marketing content, too. Working on a white paper? Why not spice it up by turning it into an interactive microsite, giving people a chance to actually immerse themselves in your content. Writing an article on something of topical interest to your audience? Try putting it in video form to give them a new way to experience what you’ve traditionally put in writing. You should always be pushing yourself to try new things with your marketing, and while that may not mean singing and dancing, there are certainly plenty of new options to explore.

An interesting sidenote: both Air New Zealand and Virgin Airlines have associated a unique hashtag with their new safety videos. Marketers should consider doing similarly whenever they’re trying to generate hype for marketing campaigns, new content, or events.

What other lessons can B2B marketers learn from the airline safety videos above? Let us know in the comments!