Aniston and Emirates: A match made in the heavens

In case you’ve missed it, award-winning actor Jennifer Aniston has signed a $5 million contract to be the new face of the Dubai-based airline Emirates.

Her first television commercial debuted in early October and takes a tack not usually seen within the normally staid airline industry.

“We chose to take a humorous approach to showcase the amazing products we offer on board,” Boutros Boutros, Emirates’ divisional SVP said in a statement. “We couldn’t think of anyone better suited for the role than Jennifer Aniston and we wrote the script with her in mind.”

The commercial opens with Aniston looking frantically for the onboard shower and lounge but being mocked and ridiculed by the cabin crew, whom she finds in their natural habitat: cloistered behind the closed curtain of the aircraft galley and talking among themselves. Isn’t that usually where we find them when we need them?

While no specific airline is identified, the three cabin crew members are dressed in red, white and blue uniforms. Their clothing along with portraying them hiding in the galley are clearly well-deserved pokes at U.S. airlines and their collective attitude toward their passengers.

Aniston realizes it was a nightmare (as is flying in so many cases anyway) when she wakes up in a private suite in the Emirates First Class cabin of an Airbus A380 before getting the shower she was seeking and heading to the onboard lounge.

At the time the video was unveiled, Emirates disclosed that it had spent $20 million to date to secure air time for the spot around the world. No doubt it has spent more since then.

Various sources have commented that Aniston’s comedic timing makes the spots work (which it does) and that it is also a self-deprecating look at her own luxe lifestyle (which it may be). She and her new husband reportedly took a private jet following their wedding and spent their honeymoon at the Four Seasons resort in Bora Bora. While some sources said a week as the posh resort could set one back a mere US$1 million, the hotel’s website returned prices that were considerably more (ahem) reasonable: Rooms started at the equivalent of US$808 per night and went to about $2,700 per night for a villa; dramatically less than $1 million per week.

But I digress.

Despite being a fixture on television since “Friends” debuted in 1994 and making numerous appearances on the big screen, Aniston still has a freshness about her. As a 46-year-old Gen-Xer, she is mature enough to be believable is her role as a high-flier, even if she were not a highly paid actor. And, as attractive as she is, she has a “girl-next-door” approachability which will no doubt serve Emirates well as long as Aniston serves as the face of their airline.

Perhaps most noteworthy, however, is the spot's whimsical tag line: Wake up to flying as it should be. 

Yes, that IS how flying SHOULD be.

Good on ya, Jennifer. And good on ya, Emirates!

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