The Flight Safety Video With 10.5 Million YouTube Views
One of the staples of modern air travel is the flight safety video. It’s an aviation regulation that’s designed to ensure everyone is appropriately briefed on flight safety procedures in the event of an emergency.
If you’ve ever taken a flight, you’ve sat through one. And if, like me, you fly a lot, you’ve not only sat through them, you’ve likely tuned out during the briefing.
Because most flight safety demonstrations, while important, are boring. The scripts are pretty standard, devoid of any interest or, frankly, humanity. The tone is official and dispassionate. And they’re delivered by attendants who’ve done it so many times, they’re on auto pilot, looking to get it over with as quickly as possible. Which is why people tune out.
But that doesn’t change the fact that they’re valuable. One that could save your and your fellow passenger’s lives, if something were to go wrong. So what to do?
Well, as I saw on a recent international flight, British Airways had an idea. They partnered with Comic Relief and, using established British actors, made the flight safety briefing engaging, funny and interesting. Through the medium of video, they injected entertainment, comedy and characters into the briefing. The actual informational content was exactly the same as what I’d heard hundreds of times before, but this time, I didn’t tune out.
Why? Because they realized that it isn’t just about the data, it’s about how the data is delivered. It‘s about making full use of the delivery mechanism. It’s about engaging the audience in the process.
There’s a lesson there for those of us who need to convince others to do something on our behalf, whether it’s to buy, to sell, to act or to change. (In other words, all of us.)
Simply explaining why and delivering the facts isn’t good enough. You may have the best content in the world, but dry facts rarely ever convinced anyone to do anything. You have to add interest. You have to inject emotion. You have to use multiple senses to convince.
If you convert your message to a story, if you find a way to connect with your audience, if you make it memorable for them, you stand a much better chance of success than if you simply stood on a pedestal and delivered a sermon. (Just ask British Airways - how many flight safety videos (see below) do you know that have 10.5 million views on YouTube?)
No one wants to be told, but everyone loves to be entertained.
That’s worth remembering the next time you have a message you need to get across.