Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Air New Zealand rebrands safety

Air New Zealand is one of those special companies. I know I have a biased view, as I would definitely classify myself as a loyal customer. But the fact of the matter is that their new safety videos are creating quite a stir; a good stir.


What began as a way to separate themselves from the competition (and gain the short attention span of  their customers) has now become a tactic that has generated incredible word of mouth, enthusiasm and personality for the airline brand. And Air New Zealand’s safety videos are getting more and more imaginative.

From Bear Grylls to a plane load of hobbits, Air New Zealand has not only defined and set apart the persona of its brand, it has capitalised on the spirit of New Zealand. Studies show successful companies leverage their strengths. Given that Air New Zealand  belongs to a young, green and “anything-goes kind of country,” one of the major strengths the airline has capitalised on is the spirit of the New Zealand people. On top of that, they are creating interesting and engaging content, as well as playing into modern habits of tuning out and turning to screens and visual communication.

Their latest safety video starring Sport Illustrated models Chrissy Teigen, Ariel Meredith, Hannah Davis and Jessica Gomes has received praise and critique over the sexualisation of women. However, when something is set in the beautiful Cook Islands – how else could this subject matter be approached? As a self-proclaimed feminist, I thought long and hard about how I felt about this video. Could such a successful piece of content marketing violate my ethical standing? At the end of the day, when compared to some other examples of the sexualisation of women in advertising, I feel this Air New Zealand video is well natured and liberating more than anything.

So, as the weather remains rainy and grey in Sydney over the next few days, no doubt more people will be viewing the already popular safety message, drenched in smiles and sunshine. Kia Orana, everyone!

Hongi Luo
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at The University of Sydney Business School

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