WestJet Christmas Marketing Miracle – Viral Video Attracts Millions

Canada’s WestJet airlines is spreading a bit of holiday cheer and brand engagement online this week, thanks to a “Christmas miracle” video.

Published on the 8th December the video has seen upwards of 16m views and is growing hourly. In the two hours that passed while this article was being written views went from just over 15M to over 16M.

Before boarding flights, passengers were asked by a virtual Santa what they wanted for Christmas, after scanning their boarding passes at kiosks set up by the airline. Santa addressed each of the passengers by name adding a personal touch and delighting Children – although it wasn’t only children who were captivated by Santa, many adults were quickly sharing their Christmas wish list.

While the unsuspecting passengers made their way to Calgary, WestJet staff who had recorded all the requests, scrambled to buy, wrap and deliver the presents to Calgary International Airport.

At the baggage carousel, passengers waiting for their luggage were astonished to find personalised wrapped presents making their way down the carousel.

To ensure the video was shared WestJet pledged to donate flights to the Ronald McDonald Charity once it cracked its goal of 200,000 views. While this was a great incentive to encourage sharing, it is the spirit and emotion of this video that has resulted in such a huge success.

This brand gesture connects with people emotionally. While watching this video you can’t help but feel warm and fuzzy as passengers’ emotions spill over as they receive their surprise Christmas presents.

The video works so well for the brand because it effectively reinforces WestJet’s values of fun, friendly and caring. Another layer of this gesture is that strengthens internal brand engagement for WestJet employees. Being part of a company that is delivering such a generous offer to passengers, makes employees feel proud to represent and be an ambassador for the brand. Employees who are engaged with and support their brand are a valuable asset.

They have managed to not only connect with millions of customers worldwide but they have done so with a much more intelligent use of budget compared with traditional advertising and in a way that reflects their brand values and personality. Arguably this compares to some of the best Christmas Ads of 2013.

It’s the season for giving and sharing, Merry Christmas!

Gemma Dittmar
Director of Brand Projects

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