Meh: Qatar Airways’ Humorous New Safety Video

Filed Under: Qatar, Videos

Qatar Airways has recently unveiled their new safety video. As it’s described, the video turns the pre-match soccer team-talk into an entertaining safety video that will be shown on board all flights before the end of the year.

The six minute video (darn, that’s long) features soccer stars from Qatar Airways’ ongoing partnerships with AS Roma, FC Bayern Munich, and FIFA. Specifically, the film stars Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr, FC Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski, and AS Roma star Cafu.

The way it’s set up, they’re led through the in-flight safety routine by a double act of coach and kitman played by British television regular Jason Thrope and comedic act Ross Hatt.

Here’s how they describe the video:

This is a locker room like never before in which Lewandowski demonstrates how to use a life jacket, where Cafu helps a younger version of himself attach an oxygen mask and where Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar Jr makes a special appearance to guide Qsuite passengers.

Directed by Peter Lydon, who co-wrote the script with award-winning creative agency 180 Kingsday, the six-minute film is designed for Qatar Airways’ global, family audience. Mirroring the airline’s latest campaigns, the film seeks to add a playful spin to a vital part of the in-flight experience.

The Executive Creative Director at 180 Kingsday (which worked on the video) claims that humor has been shown to increase memory, and therefore there’s no better way to communicate such important information.

Here’s the new safety video:

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not really into team sports (with the exception of curling, the world’s second greatest sport, after the spelling bee), so maybe this isn’t for me. Maybe others will love it.

Personally I can’t help but feel like the video is kind of annoying, unoriginal, and and off brand. Why?

  • Annoying: did you hear that singing about a third of the way into the safety video?
  • Unoriginal: I feel like Qatar Airways copied the concept from a combination of other safety videos, including those of Turkish and British Airways
  • Off-brand: I get that Qatar Airways sponsors lots of sports teams, but when I think of the Qatar Airways flying experience I think of luxury and elegance, and not about a comedy routine with easy jokes

Anyway, just my two cents.

What do you make of Qatar Airways’ new safety video?

  1. Should’ve kept that blond guy with the soul-piercing gaze. I agree that this is so off-brand, and given that Al-Baker is a perfectionist I can only hope he pulls the plug.

  2. 6mins is long…. But even longer if it is played twice like the TK Lego thing in two languages. One more reason to bring your own entertainment.

  3. The FIFA world cup is in Qatar in 2022…You know, the most watched sporting event in the world…

    That could have something to do with it.

  4. I agree with your end points. Plus, a lot of QR’s business is transporting people from other countries, who may not necessarily understand the best of English. In my experience, I haven’t seen them play the safety video in those languages (rather its normally English and Arabic). I wonder if making a safety video like this (where English is spoken really fast and the visuals aren’t as supportive) would impact the understanding of the video to some people.

  5. Not a fan. And this is coming from a huge Romanista.

    (PS: Cafu? Really? Guy’s a legend but hasn’t played in forever)

  6. @Lucky they also had a football-themed video in 2017. So while the football concept is unoriginal even in the context of their own safety videos, I don’t think it’s entirely a ripoff of other airlines.

    The comedian-guide might be, though.

  7. The first 45 seconds is just introductory concept nonsense, before the safety information even starts. This is wildly self-indulgent, and irritatingly smug. As is the rest of it.

    I fly QR a lot, and even though the old video is much shorter than this new one AND the blond man is delightful to look at, it’s still irritatingly over-long (and then repeated in another language). But at least it’s not quite this annoying.

    I wish airlines — all of them — would stop this stupid arms race to make the safety video part of their brand. It’s working against what the video is supposed to do. This will make me turn-off, not pay more attention (though in fairness it’s not as screechingly appalling as Air New Zealand’s extraordinary rapper-themed safety video, which I couldn’t physically listen to).

  8. @Lucky, to your unoriginal point; QR made a similar video with just FCB players a couple years back so it’s not a first for them. TK may have been the first to do this sports concept with ManU years ago but others have done so e.g. Air NewZealand just made one for the Rugby World Cup

  9. If they could STOP wasting millions on shitty ads, videos and PR nonsense and put that money on improving their Frequent Flyer programme… That would be money well invested.

  10. The football (soccer if you insist) element probably links into the fact that the next world cup is being held in Doha in 2022.

    As a frequent BA flyer I can say that while I did enjoy the safety video for the first couple of times, I now find it very annoying and extremely long and dreary. Quite often the cabin crew make you stop what you’re doing in order and it really annoys me when I’m trying to get stuck into a Netflix binge or I’m firing off a few quick emails before we leave. I’d actually prefer a standard video at this point. Still you can’t beat Sir Michael Caine.

  11. I haven’t flown Qatar in a while. The last time was when they also had a soccer themed safety video. It annoyed me considerably. It was silly (I am not a soccer fan), very long, always played with very high volume, and played twice in english and arabic. I gave feedback to QR about it. It seems they haven’t learned. Why do they assume everyone will enjoy a soccer themed video? SQ has a nice video with local themes. As do other airlines. I guess they are starting to promote the World Cup.

  12. Bit too much, if you ask me. Totally disconnected from the actual equipment.

    Especially older travelers not traveling frequently, will probably not relate to their fold down table, windows shade, etc. around them to what’s shown in the video. I wouldn’t want to be FA on those flights.

    And the singing is annoying … it really is.

    I remember when I first saw the classic ManU TK or Lord of the rings NZ video first. I though it is still funny. Today all funny and wannabefunny videos start to enjoy me (ever seen Shandong Airlines or Shanghai Airlines ???)

  13. The best thing about Lufthansa is their safety video, because it is just that and doesn’t try to be anything else.

  14. 1. Why does he say “Rob” so many times? It’s really weird.
    2. “British television regular” – um, no.
    3. That is going to get old and tedious very quickly. Like by the second viewing.

  15. Awful, tedious and just stupid! Also with this glorification of people, whose ONLY talent is the ability to kick a ball around!

  16. Can’t even sit through the first 3 mins of this, I’ll for sure sleep through it on the plane in jet-lagged, exhausted and inebriated state. So cringey and irritating, much much worse than the old one with Barcelona or whatever entertainers that was.

    For the frequent QR fliers, I’m so sorry y’all will have to sit through this more than once. Good thing my new job no longer requires me to fly QR.

  17. Wow you are so right. My second flight and I’m already sick of it. Definitely lowered my experience with Qatar Airways which has a fantastic soft product. Whoever came up with this ought to be fired.

  18. This is not good for the QatarAirway brand. It is badly shot, scripted and directed. I dont think the agency did a good job…unless the client interfered and turn this into a personal home video. Otherwise..its time to call for a pitch..

  19. I recently flew 4 flights on QR and this video was so, so irritating and the opposite of what the Qatar brand is meant to be. I also have serious concerns about it, because for any non-native English speaker, it is extremely hard to work out what is going on and is far removed from the aircraft environment.

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