Pre-flight safety briefings are all about reminding passengers to take proper precautions, but some national airlines also take the opportunity to showcase their country’s attractions and culture, turning them into informative videos that leave a lasting impression.
Japanese airline ANA recently produced one such clip that paid homage to one of Japan’s oldest traditions, promoting kabuki and imparting valuable safety information all in one elegant swoop. What’s more, the company also employed a Chinese actor by the name of Zhao Lixin as one of the kabuki actors.
Instructions are emphasized by clever use of elements found in Japanese theater, such as “invisible” stagehands who usually support actors with props and assistance.
▼ Although they are traditionally dressed in black, the stagehands in the video sport the blue and white colors of ANA.
The mix of traditional dance integrated into a contemporary setting makes for a lighthearted safety briefing that many will remember, a brilliant production that can be easily understood even without verbal explanations of any sort.
As everything is transposed into the kabuki world of ancient Japan, many sections gained a comical perspective that will draw smiles from passengers.
▼ Particularly the evacuation slide segment, where luggage is swapped with cloth-wrapped belongings...
▼ …and high heels with traditional clogs called geta.
The video was first installed on domestic ANA flights from 1 December last year, but has since made its way to international flights, allowing all passengers to appreciate a mini kabuki performance together with important safety instructions.
When the clip was posted to social media platform Weibo, Chinese netizens reacted positively to seeing one of their own actors embracing and promoting Japanese culture:
“I actually saw in on the plane the other day. It was pretty good!”
“China should follow their example and do one of their own.”
“This is so Japanese.”
“I love it. It’s been a while since I’ve watched an entire safety video.”
“I can’t wait to watch this on my flight tomorrow.”
Hats off to ANA for an entertaining video that beautifully showcases the country’s rich tradition, all the while reminding passengers of vital flight precautions. Hopefully the company can follow up with some sumo wrestling humor in the future, turning boring pre-flight safety videos into a thing of the past.
Sources: YouTube/ANA Global Channel, Weibo/Lin Ping in Japan via Toychan
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