Well, this is one way to get airline travelers to pay attention to the important safety announcements.
Air New Zealand hired a handful of bikini-clad Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models, including Chrissy Teigen, to record their inflight video, called "Safety in Paradise," about buckling up, the proper use of oxygen masks, and other aviation safety tips which will play before takeoff.
Teigen, Ariel Meredith, Hannah Davis, and Jessica Gomes are the safety experts in the video — and we use the term loosely. John Legend's wife, who has on a hard-working white string bikini, is clutching a cocktail and playing with her hair as she tells airline travelers, "Your life jacket can be found under your seat."
The four-minute video, which was shot on the Cook Islands, isn't all young models. Christie Brinkley, who recently turned 60, makes a cameo from Los Angeles. She's sporting a white bikini and kicking back with a young pool boy.
While the video featuring the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit ladies, which was done in conjunction with the mag's 50th anniversary, will certainly get the attention of travelers, it also has the attention of … critics. It's been widely slammed as sexist and offensive to women.
Feminist commentator Deborah Russell, who is a professor at Massey University in New Zealand, was one of those critics and she took to Twitter to sound off.
Ive seen the AirNZ/Sports Illustrated safety video. Full scale objectification of women. Made me feel ill.— Deborah Russell (@BeeFaerie) February 12, 2014
She also told the New Zealand Herald, "I'm going to be sitting there worrying about the male passengers sitting next to me leering at the beautiful women on the screen. I'm a captive audience for the safety video, but suddenly there are going to be put in front of me a whole lot of references to sex and sexuality."
Despite detractors, Air New Zealand has long tried to get more people to pay attention to their important safety announcements. The most popular one so far is the "Hobbit"-inspired "An Unexpected Briefing," and featured a cameo from director Peter Jackson. According to the company, it has received more than 12 million views. Then there was "Safety Old School Style" with Betty White, "The Bear Essentials of Safety" with Bear Grylls, and "Mile High Madness" with Richard Simmons.
Air New Zealand's edgy video series has also inspired other airlines to step up their game. In October, Virgin released a fun song-and-dance number safety video, which was put together by director Jon M. Chu and featured "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance" alums. Then in January, Delta released an '80s-inspired one with Alf and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.