In-flight safety videos: drab, dull, robotic… Airbrushed stewards with perma-smiles and corporate stares make safety seem so ‘Pleasantville’ and boring that you end up snoring, or at the very least ignoring, the message. Air New Zealand is a vanguard of ‘safety-tainment’, but others too are beginning to engage in it . Here are our top five:


1. Air NZ: Bear essentials of safety

Air New Zealand has a knack of enlisting the most unlikely celebrities in its quest to get its safety/marketing message across. The pick of the bunch involves British TV survivalist Bear Grylls roaming the wilds of New Zealand in the most full-contact demonstration ever.


2. Thompson: Brought to you by Alice & Co

British carrier Thompson subscribes to the theory that ‘cute sells’ – or at least makes you sit up and take notice. Primary school aged kids assume all the usual roles, with the same cheesy music, but the kids manage to hold your attention so much more effectively.


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3. Southwest Airlines: Safety rap

A host of smaller American airlines encourage stewards and stewardesses to show some ‘personality’ during  their routines. This Southwest Airlines employee says he can’t sing or tell jokes, but with the reluctant help of the passengers, he certainly can rap.


4. Virgin America: Safety dance

Cheesy pop and energetic dance make this one seem more like a music video than a safety announcement. The choreography and energy is enough to make you sit up and notice, but we’re not sure we’d know what to do in the case of emergency.


5. Air NZ: Fit to Fly

Air New Zealand was destined to have at least two in the top five and there could have been more (see Air Hobbit, Betty White and the All Blacks campaigns). But 80s exercise guru Richard Simmons helps bring this one across the line, thanks in part to the liberal use of spandex, sparkles and disco.