I guess we all still remember back in 2009 when David Caroll created his viral video about how United Airlines broke his guitar and refused to pay for it. That video generated 13.8 million views and it seems the airline industry learned a big lesson from that and have been doing a fair amount of viral videoing of their own. In fact, viral video marketing is rapidly eclipsing television as the most effective channel for travel marketing, especially for marketers targeting younger demographics, according to the latest Skift Report.

In the report, Skift.com, the travel intelligence and news company, says that for a largely commodified and opaque business, video marketing is more important for airlines than most travel-related businesses. As a result, airlines are among the most successful producers of video marketing in the travel business. Even the once boring in-flight safety video is asserting itself as a chance to define and differentiate the airline brand.

Here’s a quick catch up of the most successful Airline Videos to date:

Turkish Airlines – Kobe vs Mese – 138.8 million views

WestJet -Christmas Miracle – 35.5 million views

Air New Zealand – An unexpected briefing – 11.5 million views

Virgin America – Safety Video – 8.8 million views

In the report, Rob Ciampa, CMO of Pixability, offers a key reason why video brand building matters to Airlines:

The Airline Industry is very commodified ….people shop for the lowest prices….but when we find fares that are pretty close, how do we choose? This is where brand matters! What is it about the brand, the aircraft, where they fly? What about the company’s philosophy? This is where exciting, unique and sharable videos come into play.

The report also offers information on trends, stats, and tips on best practices for airline marketers using video with examples of the latest experiments in the industry with Vine and Instagram. It’s probably essential reading if you’re a front line marketer for an airline and maybe they won’t make the same mistake as All Nippon Airways who have very recently apologized individually to customers who call to complain about racial stereotyping in their new television commercial that has gone viral with 600,000 in 4 weeks.

The Skift Report is available for a fee from here.