Virgin America gives inflight safety video the Glee treatment

By David Flynn, October 30 2013
Virgin America gives inflight safety video the Glee treatment

Virgin America is sexing up its inflight safety videos with a funky song and dance number which could have come straight from an episode of Glee (or Fame, if we were back in the early 1980s).

The clip will begin screening on Virgin America flights this week but has been released onto YouTube in an undoubtedly Air New Zealand-inspired attempt to spark some viral marketing voom.

So how do you compete with Betty White, Bear Grylls and a bunch of Hobbits?

You start with catchy music and lyrics created by former American Idol contestant Todrick Hall – round up a posse of singers and dancers from So You Think You Can Dance;and then sign up Hollywood film-maker Jon Chu, whose directing credits include Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and G.I. Joe: Retaliation (the odd one out, as it swapped singing and dancing for a lot of shooting).

And here's the result: the #VXsafetydance video (yes, they built a Twitter hashtag into the name in case you didn't realise how Cool and Hip this video is).

Virgin America repeats the familiar Air NZ refrain that the video is intended to make people pay attention to the safety demonstration and its potentially life-saving information.

"How many times have you been on a plane where nobody is watching the safety demonstration?" asks Steve Forte, Virgin America's chief operating officer. "When you look at this video, you'll see how it grabs people's attention."

Virgin America has also shared a 'behind the scenes' look into the making of the #VXsafetydance clip.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


19 Jun 2013

Total posts 60

It sure is catchy. But once, for the first time only !  I hate that style of music, so I'd hate to be a frequent flyer, having to endure that perhaps several times a week or month. And... music apart, it is w-a-y to long in my opinion. Aside from all that, it's good ;). Air NZ wins hands down for the humour.

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1242

Agreed. This would grow old really fast.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2199

For a Virgin-branded airline, this simply doesn't exude the expected sort of cool. It's not the travel glamour sort of cool - it's a teenybopper sort of "cool". A bit like serving Vodka Cruiser in First Class, really.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 733

Indeed. There's nothing in the world that's less cool than what people younger (or older) than you think is cool.

Air New Zealand overcomes this problem by using stuff that nobody has *ever* thought is cool, like Richard Simmons and Betty White.

Even Bear Grylls and Tolkein, while very *popular*, could never be accused of being "cool".

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 548

Thats the whole ethos of virgin australia, not surprised it is seeping into the atlantic / US brand

British Airways - Executive Club

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 47

The difference between this video and say NZ's Hobbitt video is that real cabin crews are used. I doubt any of those featured on Virgin America are flight attendants.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2199

Mhmm. There is a video of an actual FA delivering a rapped safety briefing live, and that was pretty cool because it was legit.

This is, like I said earlier, like serving Vodka Cruiser instead of Champagne in First Class.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2013

Total posts 25

Instagram Hashtag actually haha :)


British Airways - Executive Club

24 Jan 2012

Total posts 74

Whilst I think Australians wouldn't like this on repeat, i'm sure Americans would LOVE it.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Apr 2013

Total posts 143

I like it! Very catchy. But I think, as other's have mentioned, it's way too long and it could get quite old quite quick. I think also, in the middle some of the language used get's a little coloquial. Especially for non-english speakers, let alone non-Americans not up-to-speed on their coloquial usage of english. But catchy and fun overall.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Nov 2011

Total posts 243

Agreed that it's quite a fun and catchy video but definitely will grow old fast...

Air NZ I still think they work well...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Oct 2013

Total posts 92

Am I the only one that is still miffed that the condecending line "for the 0.01% of you that do not know how to operate a seatbelt" is still being used by VX? Sure, their intended audience arn't FFs like us, but c'mon, you don't have to talk down to your passengers like idiots!

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