Remember when in-flight safety videos were dull and starred normal-looking, actual flight attendants rather than paid actors? These days, airlines have taken their in-flight safety videos and run wild with them, from Air New Zealand's Hobbit -themed videos — and ill-fated Sports Illustrated -themed segment — to Virgin's five-minute-long mini musical. The latest airline to join the trend is Air France, who took a decidedly French approach with their direction. Air France's new in-flight safety video is so cutesy that it's actually nauseating, like an Audrey Tautou movie set on an airplane, with safety tips in place of a plot.
I mean, I get it. Air France doesn't want to be left out of this whole "flight videos are the new music videos" trend, and because it's Air France, of course it was going to make its video à la française. Who doesn't love the Parisian aesthetic? It literally defines "chic." But the problem with this video is that it's so heavy-handed it's like a caricature of the Parisian aesthetic. Three-quarter-length Breton striped shirts? Check. Quirky, feminine color coordination? Check. Gamine-like narrator with an alluring French accent? Check.
But honestly, who is this video supposed to appeal to? Not to predict anything based on gender norms, but I highly doubt many people are going to give this video their full attention — and that's a problem because its safety tips are crucial.
Take a look at Air France's newest safety video.
The video begins with the ingenue welcoming us to our Air France flight as bubble-gum electronic music starts to play.
And in come the walking stereotypes of the French girl.
Who demonstrate the video tips through adorable synchronized movements.
Every set of instructions is given in both French and English.
Such as fastening your seat belt...
...which will apparently highlight your waistline. First of all, no it will not — I don't care if you're Karlie Kloss. The only thing airplane seat belts highlight is how badly you have to pee when you're not allowed to go. Second of all, Air France seems to think it has the same demographic as Chanel — also not true.
Of course, no smoking is allowed on flights (to the chagrin of most of France, probably).
So all the French girls have to turn in their cigarettes.
Who's the badass trying to light up a Cuban in the airplane bathroom?
And then come the masks, which look more like Neutrogena's newest facial wipe when used by these girls.
Do not put your mask on like this, please.
Nobody should look this happy when wearing a life jacket.
Trust me, it's not a happy occasion.
It's important to locate all the exits on the aircraft.
That's why they demonstrated where they are by doing dance moves.
When making your way out of the plane in an emergency, definitely don't dance your way out.
You'll probably be tempted to use your electronics during the flight... because it's trendy?
But check with your flight crew about when to use them.
By the way, these books are actually smartphones. Why didn't you... just use smartphones?
Make sure to put your tray tables up — tray table represented here by the most glorious chocolate bar I've ever seen.
And bring your chairs into their full upright position.
And make sure to read the instruction pamphlets, which the girls seem to be discussing in a book club here.
At the end of the video, the French girls bow — underscoring how far these in-flight safety videos have veered from their original form.
It's all for show.
Watch the video below.
Images: Air France/YouTube