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Was Air New Zealand’s Safety Video Cultural Appropriation?

By Sharelle Burt

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When it comes to commercials, some brands know exactly how to market while others haven’t quite caught on yet. Some ideas are genius while others will leave customers very confused— like passengers flying on Air New Zealand.

The airline decided to create a safety video that would show passengers the safety rules and give them a good laugh before taking off. Unfortunately, the new video called “It’s Kiwi Safety,” was taken down this week as it faced criticism from some of the music industry’s top performers. Rapper Denzel Curry had something to say after he landed for a show in Australia, singer Anderson.Paak wasn’t pleased, and neither was the manager of Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino.

Even Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones wasn’t fond of the video and had a lot to say. “I don’t want to be too petty,” Jones said. “But the reality is the video trivializes safety. I think it’s a juvenile mishmash and it’s toneless.”

Tough crowd.

Such a shame because the video featured some of New Zealand’s best musical artists like Kings, Randa and Theia, rapping over infamous beats from Run DMC and Sisters Underground. Jones even said when he saw it, he was sitting next to some tourists, who were highly confused.

RELATED: Air New Zealand Flight Delayed For Two Hours After Passenger Died Midflight


“Based on my quite scientific assessment of travelers’ views about that video, I have never heard the F-word more frequently and they’re not saying ‘first class’,” Jones said. Previous travelers were ecstatic by the news, sharing their excitement on social media.

Jones suggests that the airline try to use an older video that worked for them in the past. “I liked the one about up North, the one with Rachel Hunter, her hanging out with the Maoris,” Jones recommends. In the meantime, Air New Zealand has another plan.

They have put out an add looking for the next Head of Safety Videos. Very clever. Think you have what it takes?d

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