Here, have a look at the new pre-flight safety video from Virgin America…
THE IDEA, I think, is that you’ll come away thinking: Wow, like, that’s so edgy and cool and fun.
I came away tired and looking for an aspirin.
They took a somewhat entertaining idea and made a monster out of it. The video runs for an excruciating five minutes. Imagine being a Virgin America frequent flyer, or employee, and having to endure that thing over and over and over and over. The cabin crew are going to need counseling.
Airline safety briefings are a kind of legal fine print come to life. They do contain some important and useful info, but it’s so layered in babble that people tune out and ignore the entire thing. However, merely by setting all of this ornamental gibberish to music, while it might generate a little publicity and a bit of social media buzz, does not make it more compelling. It also undermines the purpose of the briefing in the first place. If safety is really the point, the briefing should be taken seriously. Here, you’re watching it for fun, not to actually learn anything that might save your life.
Here’s a better idea: shrink it. Hit the bullet points and never mind the rest. In the interest of both safety and sanity, no pre-flight demo, be it a video or the old-fashioned “live” version, should be more than a minute or so long. If you insist on being cute, please do it in 60 seconds or less.
Flying is a noisy enough experience as it is, and airline passengers are already “talked to” enough, from the barrage of public address announcements in the terminals to the various on-board spiels. (On the last long-haul flight I took, the first 25 minutes after takeoff were nothing but PAs.) We don’t also need five minutes of singing and dancing.
I’m all for airlines thinking outside the box and getting creative. We need more of that, frankly. Just not like this.