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The in-flight safety briefing or video has long been one of the worst parts of the flying experience. Legally mandated, dry, and chock-full of information you’re heard more times than you can count, every flyer has suffered through it. Flight attendants have suffered through giving them. That is, until Virgin decided to re-invent those few minutes back in 2007.

A Race To The Top

In what’s become a race to produce the coolest, most entertaining, and generally awesome safety videos, more and more airlines are taking advantage of their captive audience to create favorable impressions of their brand. Virgin America’s latest iteration is an all-singing, choreographed, musical number. And while it’s fun to watch, genuinely entertaining, it also provides all of the legally mandated and necessary safety information.

Southwest lets their employees customize their briefings, and no two are alike; every employee features their own talents, sense of humor or individual style. This rap safety briefing went viral back in 2007; it’s a great example of what can happen when you give employees the freedom to improvise.

The list goes and on, Delta just premiered an 80’s themed video, Air New Zealand has featured Hobbits, Betty White, and even employees in body paint.

What do they have in common? They’re making the most out of a little moment.

These videos have become big news; The Delta 80’s themed video had more than 1.4 million views in less than a month. Virgin America’s video launched in Times Square and is now part of an Instagram contest that can get you into a future version of the Virgin America video.

The Takeaway From In-Flight Safety

What’s there to learn from all the fun? That your brand doesn’t have to be boring and safe. This is serious information, and legally mandated. Still, these brands chose to take a risk and give their customers a positive experience worth remembering. Think you can’t pull that off? Wrong.

Think about the little interactions you have with your customers, the way you answer the phone, the way you sign your emails, the way you list your pricing. Sure, it takes a little extra time to think of something different, memorable, or clever. But the impression it leaves is invaluable.

Are You Playing Enough?

When was the last time your brand took a risk and did something memorable that left your customer smiling?