The Naked Truth About Getting People’s Attention

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

When’s the last time you paid attention to the safety announcement on a flight? I can’t remember either.

Air New Zealand posted a safety video on YouTube and 3,305,548 people have viewed it so far.

This is the same safety announcement that all of us hear every week on flights. So why would so many people view this video? Simple: The airline employees giving the safety announcement are all naked. Their uniforms are painted onto their bodies. So, that information should be enough to get some of you to click on the video in anticipation, and others to click on with utter disgust. Either way, it gets you to watch.

Click here to view video

Their video got me thinking about corporate presentations. People file into a room as cramped as economy seats on a flight. And almost the instant that the lights dim and the first slide appears on the screen, the audience tunes out. Don’t believe me? Look around you at the next meeting you go to. (Or, perhaps you’re reading this during one of those deadly presentations right now.)

What Air New Zealand (and Southwest Air found by giving flight attendants freedom to be creative when they present safety information) was that people pay attention to things that are novel, entertaining, and worth telling others about.

I am not suggesting naked executives. Believe me, I am definitely not suggesting that.  But as we prepare our next presentations, imagine how Air New Zealand’s might handle it.