Breaking Patterns of Familiarity

I’ve spent a good chunk of my life sitting on planes. From my first time flying from New Zealand to the UK when I was seven years old (where we sat in the smoking section!) to flying 56,000 kilometres in 28 days to do a Change Impact Assessment. To the year I flew from London Gatwick to Edinburgh 36 times (return) for work, I have certainly earned my air miles.

As you can imagine, I’ve sat through a lot of flight safety briefings. I can’t remember one of them. It’s like not remembering a thing about driving home, living below a flight path and not hearing the noise or tuning out ads while watching TV. Our brains are wired to filter out the familiar.

This is a problem for airlines.

The airlines want each and everyone on that flight to know what to do in an event of an emergency so they can do all they can to protect themselves and others. If you can’t get people to listen, how do you get them to know what to do? People have become so familiar with  these safety briefings they have stopped hearing them.

To help try and solve this problem Air New Zealand has implemented a strategy of creating fun and quirky pre-flight safety briefings to try and break this pattern of familiarity.

Have a look at some of my favourite ones to see what I mean.

1. The Hobbit Safety Video

Of course, Air New Zealand can’t make a bunch of airline videos without including Middle Earth.

2. The Bear Essentials of Safety

What’s more hilarious than Bear Grylls running around New Zealand with a fish sticking out of this backpack?

3. Safety Old School Style

This video is packed with everything we love about old people: antiques, bad jokes, not being able to stand up, oxygen masks, false teeth, and inappropriate care home residents.

4. Mile-high Madness with Richard Simmons

If you were wondering whatever happened to 80s fitness instructor Richard Simmons, apart from ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ and performing with the Wiggles, then we have the answer.

5. Safety in Hollywood

The latest edition of the Air New Zealand safety video fleet. This is all your favourite Hollywood themes rolled into one: romance, horror, cop, western…

Having been one of those seasoned flyers who zone out during the safety briefings, anything that catches my attention, for even a few minutes, is to be commended. The public buzz generated by the release of a new Air New Zealand video shows that, if nothing else, the videos get noticed, and that can only be a good thing for keeping people safe when flying right?

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