Air New Zealand: fit to fly campaign
Air New Zealand: fit to fly campaign
A view from Simon Kershaw

CREATIVE STRATEGY: Do the boring bits have to be boring? No, says Air NZ

It's one of marketing's unspoken truths. There is a glamour hierarchy. Of course, if asked, any professional marketer would claim that they take an equal interest in anything that can build their brand and create shareholder value. Yeah, right.

TV ads. Facebook campaigns. 48-sheet posters. iPhone apps. Old or new technology, old or new media, there’s some sexy stuff out there. And then... there’s health and safety materials. Bear with me, please. 

Any corporation has to take health and safety very seriously. But does the marketing department? Where’s the glamour in it? 

From graduate recruitment bumf through to the office signage, much of most companies’ creative output is anything but creative. This is the boring stuff. But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

I recall working on Land Rover, offering readers the chance to win an off-road driving day at Eastnor Castle.

Inevitably, we had to include terms and conditions. But for a bit of fun, we made one up at the end of the list that insisted the winning driver should bring "a stout pair of shoes and a sense of adventure".  Even T&Cs can do their bit for the brand.

Over in the airline industry, they have a bigger problem. On every trip, the crew must explain the safety procedures. Nowadays, this is often done in the form of a video. Having heard the routine once, you would be forgiven for immediately burying yourself in your holiday novel or presentation notes. 

Well, Air New Zealand has decided that’s not good enough. Check out this out ...

You may find this quite amusing or just a bit irritating. Either way, a fitness instructor in a spangly top gyrating to 1980s disco music is quite hard to ignore. And that, of course, is the point. 

Airlines are not generally known for their sense of humour. So it’s taken a brave client to have a smile with its passengers on the vital subject of what to do when things go horribly wrong. More airlines and more clients in general could take their lead from our Kiwi friends.

Simon S Kershaw is a creative consultant and a former creative director at Craik Jones.