This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

August 14, 2002

The Attention of the World

Roger is fond of saying, "It's the usual thing done in the unusual way that captures the attention of the world." Recently, we had occasion to be on a British Airways 777 flight to London. As usual, the video came on to provide all of the mandatory information about safety procedures, locations of the exits, and what to do in case of emergency. But that's where the similarity ended.

Using a combination of computer animation and live-action shots, the video attracted and held us in rapt attention. We felt like we were watching the demonstration of a highly sophisticated, virtual reality computer game, the only difference being the number of live video scenes shot with interesting and effective camera angles.

The photography was similar to reality TV; we felt like we were really in the seats when the masks dropped down. Actors of all ages, shapes, ethnicities, and sizes were employed to add greater realism. Some might find it a little too realistic, but after watching this video, for the first time in years of flying, we felt like we will actually know what to do----in the unlikely case of emergency. Whether it's surviving an emergency landing, putting on a lifejacket, pulling the tab to inflate it, or jumping onto an evacuation slide---without women's high heels that might tear the slide. It almost feels like we've been there already. The flight attendant likened the video to "a trip to Disneyland."

There was also the talking body inset, providing the sign language version of the decidedly British voiceover. We had never considered before that hearing-impaired people would be ill-prepared for an emergency of that nature.

The whole experience was educational, while being engaging and entertaining. What a difference from the standard safety videos we see on other airlines! The implications for other learning opportunities are obvious. If you want create a film to teach adults to "do something," you must engage them. And the way to engage adults today is to use 3-D animation with live action. It works, they'll learn, and even thank you for the experience.

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