Air NZ hopes half-dressed girls get attention

21:43, Feb 18 2014

Sex sells, right? It's a given. Stick a lady on it and you'll shift more cars/beer/decking timber than an uptight feminist can shake an angry stick at.

Not just products, but information, apparently. In their latest effort to impart crucial details about how to survive an emergency, Air New Zealand has employed the services of bikini models to deliver the good oil.

The key premise is that gorgeous things half-dressed get our attention. Hard to argue. Their Safety in Paradise video has indeed grabbed the attention of almost two million viewers since it was uploaded a week ago.

Not viewers on a plane, mind, who might want to familiarise themselves with the brace position. These are dudes at home with their laptops. Some of them may not even own a passport. They may simply be travellers of the mind.

Our national carrier has long believed that if a safety video is only about, you know, safety, no-one would watch it, so why bother.

But if the safety video is full of lady-people in bikinis being sexy we will watch it and, ergo, absorb the information.


Hence the quartet of hotties in their latest offering which covers several bases (and not a lot else) in one video. These chicks are multi-tasking. Not a big ask. Chicks are awesome at that kind of carry-on.

On one level, American models are there to celebrate 50 years of Sports Illustrated, a US magazine which has been cheering men up annually with its swimsuit issue, created to fill that terrible cold emptiness between football and baseball seasons on the Northern Hemisphere sports calendar.

Given we don't play those sports and are on the other side of the planet, it is tremendously international of us to play our part.

On another level, the video also sets out to promote the Cook Islands, a destination 3000 kilometres and four hours away from our actual shores and looks nothing like anything you'd find here.

I hope people pick that up. Or landing in Wellington in the teeth of a southerly is going to be heaps disappointing.

And overlaying all that, the video still finds time to let us know where the nearest exit is. On a waka. Genius. One video, three messages. It's like killing three birds with four scantily clad birds.

Perhaps the premise has promise. If bikini models really do improve our ability to absorb information, Air New Zealand's next project should be to sponsor a charter school. We know teenage boys tend to disengage from learning around puberty. But what if their teachers were swimsuit models? We'd have a nation of Einsteins by Christmas.

Of course, there may be a flaw in their thinking. I suspect that, in the unlikely event of an emergency, when passengers think back to the safety video and asked themselves "Now, where did she say the exit was?", the answer for many of them will be "Boobs," and a bit of drool.

Sex sells, sure, but what does it sell? Well, sex really.

The Press