Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Airline Safety Briefings and Imaging: The Challenge to Capture Attention

Fly the same airline enough and you can pretty much recite the pre-flight safety briefing from memory. It’s easy to tune out because it rarely changes.

Recently though, the new United has given their safety briefings a lot of creative attention. Now, when the screen drops down, you could see any number of different versions of the safety briefing.   

While United President and CEO Jeff Smisek casually updates fliers on what the airline is up to, there are multiple messages. The update may have been recorded in a control tower or while walking a concourse in O’Hare. 

Different hubs are featured which adds to the visual interest. 

Embedded videos could show the painting of an airplane at warp speed or feature employees in a spirit of cooperation. 

There are a variety of cabin shots that accompany the traditional copy.   

This safety briefing is no longer the easy-to-ignore, same old thing.

Probably inadvertently, the pre-roll to the video I watched (yes, watched) this afternoon was shown. "March 1-15." An expiration date on an airline safety briefing video? 

I’m impressed.  

I don’t know what percent of their fliers United projects will see any of these videos more than once or twice but I’m guessing it’s a pretty small number which makes this initiative all the more noteworthy.

Could any of your station imaging be minimally effective (particularly for heavy users) because it’s been running unchanged for a long time?

Could a change in style or voice or copy recapture attention?

Could setting a start and stop time for each piece of imaging help it stay fresher and more effective – even something for you own ‘frequent flyers’ to look forward to?   

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