The Virgin America Safety Video… Really, it’s worth watching

Update: in the week since I wrote about this about 30,000 people have watched the video, that is 30k people voluntarily watched an AIRLINE SAFETY VIDEO! Wow.

I wrote about my Virgin America experience a couple of weeks ago and the one thing I searched for was the safety video, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Well Chet Gulland at their agency Anomaly just put it on youtube and sent me a link so here’s the update. Airline safety videos generally make me want to poke needles in my eyes, so it’s refreshing when a company tries to do one a little bit differently, and tries to make it a bit more bearable.

The message that they manage to get across here of course is “if we tried harder to make this video bearable imagine what we’ll do to improve the rest of the experience”.

The interesting thing about this as well is that i’m sure no one has ever complained about the safety announcements, most customers have probably accepted that they have to be boring and mundane. What Virgin has done here is make something better that you never expected, and that is even better than improving things that everyone already knows need improving. The other side effect of this amusing video is everyone actually watched it and who knows maybe even remembered where the life jacket is.

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16 Comments

  1. Posted November 28, 2007 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing. I actually paid attention. Who knew that the seat cushions didn’t float?!

  2. Posted November 28, 2007 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I actually lasted for the duration of the video. And I learned 3 things:
    1) Seat Cushions don’t float
    2) Life preservers are *between* not under seats in First Class
    3) The little red light denotes an exit row.

    Who knew? Virgin has indeed done something exceptional here…

  3. Posted November 28, 2007 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Yeah, it’s pretty impressive that they managed to actually teach me something and I retained it :-)

  4. Posted November 28, 2007 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    wow a safety video that I voluntarily watched! Props to virgin air.

  5. Posted November 28, 2007 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Here are a few shots of the safety cards, similarly amusing:

    http://www.rumorsdaily.com/2007/11/20/virgin-america-safety-information/

  6. Posted November 28, 2007 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    You know, this is a great example of a company thinking outside of the box, and managing to positively impact the customer experience (hence hopefully boost longterm customer loyalty). They took a mundane part of the airline business and turned it on its ear. What a great lesson to all of us as we go about our day-to-day business. Lesson learned–keep my eyes open for opportunities to do things differently (and better than how they’ve ‘always been done’.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Posted November 29, 2007 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Virgin set a high bar of expectation long ago. The amazing thing to watch is how they amintain that standard – in comfort, style and, yes turning the mundane into the amusing…

    Kare
    http://www.movingfrommetowe.com

  8. Julie Koenig
    Posted December 11, 2007 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Richard Branson is a genius. I watched the video and was glad to see the acknowledgement to the small % of people who may not have used a seatbelt..Jerry Seinfeld has a skit where he jokes about that which is also v.funny.

  9. Posted December 17, 2007 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    Excellent example of how to use humor to increase attention towards the otherwise so dull safety demonstration. It will surely generate positive attitudes towards the Virgin brand and as we have seen from the comments it enhances learning which is the point with this kind of communication.
    Patrik
    http://www.stics.se

  10. Posted January 9, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    You could argue that this is simply a natural extension of the Virgin voice. Nontraditional. Irreverent. Zagging when others zig. What will be interesting to see is how brands that aren’t as interesting handle such a thing. What would United’s staid corporate voice do with such a video? How would Delta script their flight attendants differently? Hard to see those being as compelling, but it would be great to see them try.

  11. Posted February 14, 2008 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    All airline safety videos should be online. That way we could all make fun of the really bad ones and force the airlines to be at least as creative as Virgin. In the meantime, I do my best to create airline safety videos that are at least informative. Check out the podcast page of AirSafe.com at podcast.airsafe.org and you will get plenty of straight talk on airline safety.

  12. Posted February 29, 2008 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Hilarious!

    Have you seen the Weed Wacker Golf Club?

    http://www.bigdaddydriver.com

    Enjoy,
    DJ

  13. Posted May 20, 2008 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing. I actually paid attention. Who knew that the seat cushions didn’t float?!

  14. Posted May 24, 2009 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    Nice video

  15. hope
    Posted June 22, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Who does the voiceover for this video?

  16. jone terry
    Posted June 28, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    good done, Good sharing, It will make … to get decision to….

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