Qantas - a whip around the entertainment industry to counter Air Zealand's super pre-flight video

Published 28 November 2012
Air New Zealand has come up with a beauty – a pre flight video of all our favourite hobbit characters straight from Wellington's Weta Cave. (

It's middle earth, dressing flight attendants as Hobbits and elves in a preflight safety video that travellers are raving about – it's well worth while taking a viewing. Called 'The Unexpected Briefing'. the video was produced ahead of the much anticipated release of the first movie of 'The Hobbit trilogy'.

This interested me as my wife Delma and I visited the Weta House as part of the pre 2012 ARPA conference bus tour in September in Wellington New Zealand and we've become a little more familiar with all the characters after the Weta Cave informative 20 minute video.

As I watched this, my question became, why couldn't Qantas come up with something similar to draw attention to the preflight safety video (they have used Olympians and Paralympians but not anything like the dramatic Air New Zealand preflight video).

Here's some suggestions.

Perhaps Snuggle Pot and Cuddle Pie might do the trick with the array characters that generation after generation of young Australians read with affection or were read to as bed time stories. (

The Magic Pudding is another of these children's sagas genre which Australian children are so very familiar. (

This web site gives 50 such Australian children's book titles and many of these titles are very well known. (

The film option

Perhaps Qantas might consider the characters from Crocodile Dundee (series) as more suited with Paul Hogan as the preflight narrator and like the Air New Zealand Hobbit characters seated and engaged in this and that, so too the Dundee characters including both the good guys and the not so good guys.

What about the Gallipoli movie characters. It could start with "Why on earth am I on this plane?" It would certainly capture their attention, with the trench at Lone Pine, going over the top and being slaughtered, a good way to remind everyone to keep their seat belt firmly fastened.

Or it might be a mysterious theme and pull from the archives such as "Picnic at Hanging Rock" – certainly how a 200 ton mechanical machine can rise off the ground and carry its passengers safely is a mystery to most of us.

Kath and Kim's cast might be just the ticket – but a glossary of terms and pronouncations might be necessary for our international travellers.

Australian Literature and songs

Australian literature is full of wonderful books and poetry, including Mulga Bill's Bicycle and any of the Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson's works. We've all done them in school, they are all very familiar, and a great educational tool for international passengers. (

There is Rolf Harris's Christmas song Six White Boomers or Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport. What about Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree - about which there was a recent court case concerning copyright and the pop group Men at Work. Then there is 'Waltz-'n Matilda' and 'I've Been Every Where' and plenty more.

International Incidents

Perhaps Qantas might choose what might create an international incident, that would certainly get everyone's attention. Hillsong's preacher Brian Houston could be engaged and slip in appropriate 'Salvation' Bible verses, and spring his book to everyone's attention about how God wants Christians to be wealthy with have plenty of money. (

Or you could bore everyone to sleep before the plane takes off, and do clips of our Parliamentarians making speeches with a cut and paste for the preflight safely video.

Me, I'm a voice calling in the wilderness, simply making some suggestions for Qantas' preflight safely video comparable to Air New Zealand's highly successful Hobbit version.

As you plan for Christmas and your summer holidays – enjoy with a smile!

Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.

Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at


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