Airline grabs the Bear essentials
Air New Zealand has done it again. The airline has released a new, quirky inflight safety video, this time starring British adventurer and Man v Wild star Bear Grylls.
The hard-man survival expert is grabbing the attention of passengers as the face of the four-and-a-half minute clip filmed in a remote part of the Routeburn Track near Fiordland in the South Island.
Grylls mixes it up with some of New Zealand's most well known native fauna including a kea, a tuatara, native glow worms and boy scouts, and even bolts off to tackle the extinct moa. Throughout he keeps up his familiar patter of survival tips, wise advice and messages from the airline.
The video follows a $1 million partnership between New Zealand's Department of Conservation and Air New Zealand to restore natural habitats and birdlife along the Stewart Island/Rakiura, Milford, Routeburn and Waikaremoana Round tracks.
Air New Zealand has developed a reputation for unusual safety videos, with previous versions featuring flight attendants wearing nothing but body paint, fitness guru Richard Simmons taking passengers through an exercise routine, and another featuring the All Blacks rugby team.
The most successful safety video so far has been the airline's Hobbit-themed clip, which has clocked up more than 10 million views on YouTube.
It is a technique that has been emulated by other airlines, with Qantas using Olympic and Paralympic athletes in its video during the London Olympic Games, and Turkish Airlines has used football players from Manchester United.
Bangkok Airways has been using a video featuring flight attendants singing and dancing on the tarmac, while Philippine airline Cebu has had attendants dancing while they show how to put on lifejackets.
Speaking about the Hobbit video, Air New Zealand's head of international marketing, Jodi Williams said that publicity was not the only benefit of the imaginative videos.
She told Fairfax Media that airlines always struggle to motivate passengers, particularly frequent travellers, to watch safety demonstrations and the fun videos have made a huge difference.
"Safety videos have been, or are, so boring and people pay little attention to them at all," Williams says. "Our videos are a way of getting the customers to engage and actually watch."
- With inputs from The Age