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Airline rap video whips up storm of controversy

November 8, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Air New Zealand’s latest safety video, billed as “the most authentically New Zealand yet” has divided its homeland, with some Kiwi viewers loving it, some loathing it, some unable to understand it – and a lot of people around the world viewing it and making comments.

When the New Zealand news site Stuff.co.nz ran a readers’ poll about the video yesterday, responses ran high. With over 10,000 votes counted, the verdict on the video was:

It’s great! One of the best: 31%

Meh, it’s OK. 29%

Terrible: 40%

The biggest safety video the airline has ever produced has a 600-strong cast, was filmed throughout New Zealand and is backed by the soundtrack ‘It’s Kiwi’ a remake of the popular RUN-DMC song ‘It’s Tricky’ and ‘In the Neighbourhood’ by Sisters Underground, produced by Josh Fountain of Auckland’s Golden Age Studios. See: Rap rules in Air NZ’s super-size Kiwi-as safety video

On Air New Zealand’s Facebook page the video notched up hundreds of thousands of views in the first few hours of release and is still piling them on, but opinions are sharply divided.

Some people enjoy the entertainment – others think safety videos should stick to the message. Some like rap music – others hate it. Should safety videos be all-singing-all-dancing productions or should they just push safety?

Additionally, some viewers question the “authentically New Zealand” claim for rap and hip-hop.

“How is this ‘authentically New Zealand’? It’s got “USA” written all over it or am I deluded?” writes one commentator on Stuff’s Facebook page.

“How can culturally appropriating an African American music genre, hip hop, be kiwi as?” ‘Skep Tickle’ asked.

But you can hardly set a safety video to the haka.

On Air New Zealand’s Facebook page, some people loved the vid. Others reckon passengers will have trouble understanding the words – a point made by Brent McCunn in a comment on yesterday’s story in Global Travel Media.

Here’s one devoted fan: “The Best!,” wrote Liukv F. Fulivai. “For those complaining about not understanding anything, English is not my first language but I totally get the safety messages, they are highlighted throughout the video. Well done to the amazing talented Kiwis who participated in making this fun video. Loooooved it and so did my kids. Thanks Air New Zealand for another amazing vid 🙂 🙂 🙂 ❤”

Other positive comments:

Keita May George: This is awesome!! Great job Air New Zealand

Siobhan Pg: I’ll enjoy sitting through this. Highly entertaining and gets the key safety messages across. Makes for something a bit different. Well done! 

Others viewed it very differently. As shown in this straight run of critical comments from the Air New Zealand Facebook page:

Sandy Larsen: Not enjoyable to watch at all, way to busy, too much going on. In the video only shows where to get your life jacket if you are in Economy. Totally not a fan of the music chose, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Kieren Jenkins: Please no. I’m going to have to listen to this every week? Whenever it comes on I’ll be adopting the brace position with a pillow over my head.

Lou Baddiley: Usually you guys nail it, but this one is so bad I can’t watch. Maybe you aren’t appealing to my demographic though….

Bernette Donaldson: Not good. Won’t be planning any flights with ANZ for a while. Being stuck in a confined place for up to 14 plus hours is far from pleasant but having to start with that is a big NO.

Jane Browne: Nice idea , but serious fail. It’s too long, it’s difficult to understand . Non English speakers will struggle with this . Maybe the elderly as well.

Robin Mainprize: These videos are going over the top, and too long and laborious – the message is getting lost, and especially for our tourists where English is not their first language. Not helping regular flyers to listen to the safety briefing either (which is supposed to be encouraged) – after the first time they will likely actively turn off during these “briefings”. Come on AirNZ – you need to get a bit more back to basics!

Hayden Chisnall: I feel so sorry for the crew that have to put up with this every day. And secondly, it’s hard enough for me to keep up, I’d be surprised if people with English as a second language would actually gain anything from this.

Travis Bloor: How about Air New Zealand focuses more on keeping air fares down so kiwis can afford to come home to see their family’s around Xmas time and actually feeding kiwis on their flights instead of wasting funds on a different safety video every year??

Shane Hickmore: Got half way though & couldn’t stand it anymore. Only watched it that far to see if it would get better.

Written by Peter Needham in Paraparaumu, New Zealand

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