Virgin America Puts a Branson-Esque Spin on In-Flight Safety

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Virgin head Richard Branson has never been afraid to spice things up a bit. His companies, like Virgin America, also have a bit of a flair for the dramatic. Throwing inhibitions to the wind, the airline had debuted its new safety video—a humorous song-and-dance number that runs through the air travel rules that most passengers snooze through.

An update to its current animated video, the new version features everything from sultry flight attendants to dancing nuns—and is admittedly hard to take your eyes off of, and certainly pushes the in-flight safety dance trend further than, say, Cebu Pacific Air’s dancing safety demonstrations.

But as Ad Age notes, Virgin’s video may wear out its welcome a whole lot faster: It “initially charms but then quickly becomes kind of exhausting,” it comments. That probably isn’t the reaction Virgin was going for, though those that fly Virgin often are likely to feel that way after having to sit through the Glee-like performace a few times.[more]

“How many times have you been on a plane where nobody is watching the safety demonstration?” Steve Forte, Virgin America’s COO, told USA Today. “People are sitting there reading the newspaper. When you look at this video, you’ll see how it grabs people’s attention.”

According to the paper, Southwest Airlines doesn’t use video at all but “encourages its flight attendants to inject a little humor into their live delivery” of the instructions in order to keep people engaged.

Delta also released a new safety video this week, sans singing and dancing. Still, the video plays up some silly antics, mostly holiday-related. A massive nutcracker takes off his hat and puts it into the overhead bin. A “No regifting” sign shows up just after “No smoking” signs are shown, while a man puts down his Yule log when the announcer notes that there is no smoking on the flight. Hanukah even gets a nod with a dreidel skittering loose across the plane’s floor. There are, thankfully, no dancing nuns.

“Any piece of content, once you watch it so many times, you tend to disengage,” Mauricio Parise, Delta’s director of marketing communications, told USA Today. “So … it’s not just about the piece of content, but how can we keep it fresh.”

The Delta video will likely lose its luster, too, over time, but will notably only make appearances around the holidays, much like “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” does. 

Here’s one Branson video that we’ll never tire of. 

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