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United Airline have released their latest inflight safety video. Rather than jump on the typical Internet bandwagon and celebrate the video as the airline would like me to, I’ll exercise a refrained enthusiasm and play the advocate for common sense.

The video is okay. For the first time, the airline has made the safety video to showcase a number of their travel destinations without actually showing the safety features described on board the actual aircraft. The problem with this is that the safety message becomes more of a global travelogue and somewhat secondary to the marketing rhetoric. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with it as long as the regulators continue to turn a blind eye.

The video makes an attempt to completely alter the brand perception of the airline; this is United, after all. It’s an airline that lost its way in the legacy collapse of last decade… and many have claimed that they’ve failed to evolve beyond 1974. It’s a tough gig breathing back new life into this dinosaur.

You’ll note that a gentleman on board a Los Vegas bus pulls out his SLR and takes a photo of the pretty flight attendant working the emergency lighting demonstration. Of course this, in itself, is against United’s policy… a policy that has attracted its fair share of negative coverage over the last few years with the ejection of their fair share of passengers for unauthorised inflight selfies. This issue in isolation seems to have attracted more attention than the actual video.

United Airline's Photography Policy

United Airline's Photography Policy

For those of us in Australia, the video features the life jacket demonstration in a field of Kangaroos. Needless to say that the marsupials are less than impressed when the flight attendant makes reference to removing the jacket from the “pouch”.

Since when did a safety video have anything to do with safety?

The marketing campaign (I’ll refrain from calling it a safety video) was created by McGarryBowen (New York).

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