Australia and New Zealand’s rivalry spans sports, ‘sharing’ actors and musicians, and the unspoken battle for best countryside in the southern hemisphere. And, as regular flyers would know, it also covers which airline has the best inflight safety videos.
Without doubt, Qantas and Air New Zealand both have an impressive back catalogue of inflight safety videos. Qantas tends to go for the ‘wow’ factor, with videos featuring aspects of Australian and international landscapes and cultures.
On the other hand, Air New Zealand goes for the novelty factor, releasing videos featuring big-name celebrities and imaginative themes, such as its recent Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made starring members of the blockbuster Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films.
It’s a battle we all win, too. Not only are we entertained, but we also inadvertently take note of the essential safety tips we need prior to take-off. After all, do you always watch and listen to the flight attendants during this drill? (hint: you’re supposed to say ‘yes’)
My favourite Qantas inflight video was the one from 2017, which was beautifully filmed and featured some of Australia’s most stunning scenery.
Clearly, Qantas relies on Australia’s breathtaking beauty, as well as ‘cinematic’ scenes from around the world. But is its formula becoming a little stale? There has clearly not been much change in the concept over the last three years, maybe longer.
As I see it, Air New Zealand wins the safety video war with fun, quirky clips such as the World’s Coolest Safety Video, which shines a light on Antarctica and the important environmental work being done there by Kiwi scientists.
Then there’s the blockbuster Safety in Hollywood video, featuring Rhys Darby and US actor Anna Faris, filmed at Warner Bros Studio in Los Angeles.
My favourite Air NZ safety video is Ed and Melanie’s Safety Sketch starring NZ actor Melanie Lynskey with US actor Ed O’Neill.
But, admittedly, the most recent offering from Air New Zealand has me a little perplexed. The airline claims it’s the largest scale safety video it’s ever produced, with a 600-strong cast led by up-and-coming young star Julian Dennison, local musicians and talent from 30 community groups across the country.
Sure, it’s fast-moving, funky and fun, but I feel a lot of people may find the instructions – the seminal reason for a safety video – a little difficult to understand.
Yep, it’ll turn a few heads, but will it save lives in case of emergency? What do you think of the new video? Do you find it difficult to understand? Is the safety factor being overshadowed by the ‘wow’ factor? Which of these safety videos is your favourite?