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'Step Up' meets robot dancers in Virgin America's new over-the-top safety video

By Frances Cha, CNN
October 30, 2013 -- Updated 1000 GMT (1800 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Virgin America's new safety video is a song-and-dance musical number
  • John Chu ("Step Up 2 and 3") directed the video

(CNN) -- Blame it on "Glee." And the Biebs. And healthy airline safety video competition.

Virgin America just released its new video, which its head of marketing and communications has been losing sleep over for months.

The elaborate new five-minute video features 36 dancers and former contestants from "So You Think You Can Dance" and "American Idol" doing everything from singing, rapping, breakdancing and contortion -- all while adhering to the FAA's in-flight safety guidelines.

It's an attempt to refresh Virgin America's 2007 hand-drawn safety video, which drew praise from passengers and the public.

Read: Betty White adds laughs to new Air New Zealand safety video

To direct the new video, the airline recruited John M. Chu, the director of classics "Step Up 2," "Step Up 3" and Justin Bieber's 3D concert film "Never Say Never."

Former Olympian Tamara Campos stars as the nun, a character revived from the old Virgin America safety video.
Former Olympian Tamara Campos stars as the nun, a character revived from the old Virgin America safety video.

More promos

As a promotion, the airline offered 20% off flight purchases made using a promo code with the safety video hashtag.

The airline is also holding a talent audition on Instagram. The winner appearing in an in-flight version of the video.

Reaction to the video have been mostly favorable from the media.

References in headlines have ranged from "The sassiest safety video you've ever seen" (Mashable) to "An in-flight safety video that will make you dance" (Skift).

The airline has a page updating the reactions on social media.

"As someone terrified of flying, this makes me wanna hop on a plane right now," tweeted @cherithebeat.

"Can't even begin to comprehend how annoying this will be on every single flight," said commenter Paul Howard on the airline's Facebook page.

"Makes me want to fly again soon. Kind of distracting though (in a good way)," was another comment.

What do you think of Virgin America's new video? Does the message get lost in the musical? Let us know in the comments below.

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