The new Air NZ safety video

April 2nd, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports:

Midway through the last decade, Fyfe was drawing admiration for classy, innovative approaches to traditional branding campaigns, working closely alongside its branding agency Colenso BBDO.

The “Nothing to Hide” commercials – featuring staff in body paint and G-strings and even featuring Fyfe in a cameo – marked a shift to a retail-focused campaign using Colenso’s retail division, .99.

Some content in spots featuring All Blacks has touched base with the old brand values.

Yet the focus hasn’t been on those traditional values but on a crude puppet specialising in double-entendres.

Last month, Rico appeared with rapper Snoop Dogg in an online clip that has been picked up by American breakfast TV, which Fyfe points out gave coverage you could not buy.

This week, 80s aerobics star Richard Simmons featured in the airline’s in-flight safety video – in a duet with polarising TV star Paul Henry.

Fyfe agrees there are risks in the marketing strategy and says that the adventurous approach could become “too successful”.

The danger is that offbeat ads aimed at niche online audiences are being picked up and, as Fyfe says, “leaching” into editorial coverage in mainstream media with a different market.

I do like the latest safety video – it carries on their quirky history, and I’ve observed on flight around 90% watch the video now, when it used to be around 20%.

The Rico creature though is stupid, and should be shot. I like smutty humour as much as anyone, but it doesn’t work with an airline brand.

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14 Responses to “The new Air NZ safety video”

  1. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    Air NZ has earned an average 4.6% return to its major shareholder, the taxpayer, since the government took it over in 2001.

    Since that is substantially negative on a risk adjusted basis, perhaps Air NZ could stop worrying about brand New Zealand and national carrier status, and start making some money.

    I suppose its going too far to say Rob Fyfe is in breach of his fiduciary duty by going after glorification like this: but actually his job is to make a return to the shareholder and he has not achieved this. Prefer to see the results before Richard Simmons, Air NZ.

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  2. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    >The Rico creature though is stupid, and should be shot

    Not just me then!
    Stuffed and glued to a bulkhead, maybe?

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  3. Inventory2 (10,177 comments) says:

    OT DPF, but Paul Holmes was lamenting your absence a few minutes ago …

    [DPF: I don't know what happened - my phone was on]

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  4. slijmbal (1,223 comments) says:

    saw the new air safety video twice and it is already exceedingly irritating (to be honest it was irritating about 30 seconds in to it on the first play). I suppose it fits the slight disco feel to the lighting on the new black airbusses.

    The furry rodent was similarly irritating and I was pleased when I thought it had disappeared but at least it was easy to ignore. This latest one forces itself into your awareness (and don’t give me the crap about always listening to the safety message, I’m on the same planes every week). Here’s hoping it disappears soon. I have heard nothing except criticism of those two adverts.

    Interesting that AIR NZ are able to destroy their brand so quickly, a brand that is so well applied historically.

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  5. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    I liked Rico when he was rude. But now that he is polite he’s just another monument to political correctness. Bleh.

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  6. nasska (10,907 comments) says:

    Ben @ 11.27am

    I reckon that 4.6% has to be compared against the results of other airlines. Many that were competitors in 2001 don’t even exist today never mind make money.

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  7. kowtow (7,943 comments) says:

    Air NZ is a great airline. I think its’ staff and govt money make it that.

    They don’t need to try so hard to be a “brand”. They are Air NZ and good at what they do. Stick to that formula and stop trying to be cool or so over the top a “kiwi ” brand.

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  8. dime (9,663 comments) says:

    was that joe roko i saw??

    the air nz people love that gay blonde guy. least hes not talking this time. over expressive creepy bastard

    the paul henry thing is piss weak.

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  9. davidp (3,557 comments) says:

    Richard Simmons? Are they aiming this at the grandmother market at the expense of everyone younger than 60 and blokes?

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  10. Fletch (6,148 comments) says:

    Sit back and relax?
    I read an article recently saying that on the newer AirNZ flights, the seats in cattle class have been moved even closer together than they were before. So much for relaxing. I think the writer said she just used to be able to squeeze either her laptop or her bag in front of her, but u can’t any more, and it’s almost impossible to get out if you have a window seat and need to get past people.

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  11. Fletch (6,148 comments) says:

    @Rico video – just looked it up, but have no idea who he is. Hadn’t seen it before. Seemed a bit weird for Air NZ to be doing…

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  12. slijmbal (1,223 comments) says:

    Fletch said “I read an article recently saying that on the newer AirNZ flights, the seats in cattle class have been moved even closer together than they were before. So much for relaxing. I think the writer said she just used to be able to squeeze either her laptop or her bag in front of her, but u can’t any more, and it’s almost impossible to get out if you have a window seat and need to get past people.”

    Might be on international as not my experience on the new airbus and I am well larger than average in every dimension. I normally have my knees butting right up against the seat in front. On the airbus I have a good 2-3 inches space between my knees and the seat in front.

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  13. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    Yes, get rid of Rico, it’s Air New Zealand not Air Mexico.

    Good to see Paul Henry’s finally found a gig that rewards his intellectual talents.

    And at least it’s not about freaking rugby, like the safety video where naked granny runs down the aisle. Miss 6 was unconvinced when I tried to explain that that’s just what little old ladies do when there’s a world cup on…

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  14. RRM (9,661 comments) says:

    slijmbal – yes. I’ve found economy seats on domestic A320 surprisingly roomy. Parents have commented that international A320 economy class is extremely cramped, that must be the difference.

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