Written for Flightglobal
Air New Zealand is not ready to confirm if the launch of the Boeing 787-9 in commercial service will come with one of the Star Alliance carrier’s strategically viral marketing videos.
When asked if a new safety video was to be premiered with the introduction of Air New Zealand’s new 787-9, chief financial officer Rob McDonald just smiled and said,“That’s something we keep under wraps.”
In spite of being a small airline in a remote part of the world, Air New Zealand has managed to extend its brand throughout the world.
The airline’s inflight safety videos have frequently “gone viral” – from the “Bare Essentials of Safety”, in which nude Air New Zealand staff wore body paint, to “It’s Safety, Old School Style,” featuring Betty White, and the Hobbit-inspired “Just Another Day in Middle Earth”.
McDonald makes the connection between the videos and increased passengers, but admits that it’s a challenging analysis.
“It’s quite difficult to quantify, but when you’re looking at activity in markets where you get the media presence, and you can look at that and analyse it over a number of months, you can see that it’s incremental,” McDonald says.
But not all of the airline’s videos have had a positive response. Just recently, Air New Zealand came under criticism for its “Safety in Paradise” video, which featured Sports Illustrated swimsuit models. The airline received a petition, with over 10,000 signatures, deeming the video offensive. The airline has since pulled the video from its aircraft.
McDonald says that the videos are a big programme and differentiating point for the airline. And a successful video does translate to more passengers. “With ‘The Hobbit’, one of our popular videos, we saw quite visible patterns of additional bookings emerge once we got the momentum going in several markets.”