COMM0011-Blog Post 6: The Christmas Miracle – High Flying Viral

More than 250 travelers flying from Toronto and Hamilton to Calgary were treated to early Christmas presents by a western Canadian based airline. A video to “document” the event was posted on-line. The airline had hoped to get 200,000 views. The last time I checked it had over 19.5 million views.

If their only goal was to surpass 200,000 views, then I would suggest it was an extremely successful social media campaign.

Apparently, the video wasn’t intended to be an ad for the company? My understanding is the concept was created by the marketing department. The video starts off with a shot of the plane (logo clearly identifiable) and corporate “elves” wearing the corporate colours and a Santa dressed in the corporate blue asking what the passengers would like for Christmas. The entire production had a well planned story and a Hollywood movie quality.

This was not the first time the same airline created a social media viral video. Last year they produced a video of their staff flash mobbing a Christmas Carol to weary travelers.

Can someone please explain what part of the video wasn’t an ad? Did you think it was an ad?

Only time will tell who got the biggest Christmas gift, the passengers, or the airline.

As one person commented on-line, “Aaaaand cue in the tears. That’s a wrap everyone.”


4 thoughts on “COMM0011-Blog Post 6: The Christmas Miracle – High Flying Viral

  1. I knew this video was too good too be true and that someone was going to post about it before me! Well, I appreciated reading about your point of view. Even if the video was not meant as a marketing tool, we all know that the results might be the same as if it would have been part of a campaign. It is a small investment for WestJet, but it might bring a lot more than 10 millions viewers. I will still post my blog about it and hope people will not get bored 🙂

  2. The audience reaction reveals our ambivalence to marketing in our society. Some praise the marketing team and the airline for their ingenuity (“very clever marketing ploy. Kudos”), some taunt the participants for insufficient cunning (“dissapointed if you only asked socks and underwear hahahahaha”), some openly admit crying (“I’m crying. You guys are awesome. I wanna work for you”), some decry commercialism during a spiritual period (“Is this what Christmas is all about – people crying because they’ve been given a free iphone?”). This is the air we breathe.

  3. It left no doubt in my mind that it was a marketing ploy. If it was only a goodwill gesture for a merry Christmas to its customers, Westjet would not have videotaped the whole event for the world to see. The company probably will score high on its ROI via social media. Some decry commercialism during a spiritual period. Well, Westjet is a commercial airline company and it has to promote its business to make a profit! Social media is helping it to achieve it. Isn’t it what many other companies are trying to do?

  4. It’s definitely an ad. In the most clever, endearing, successful way. I’m surprised their marketing team hasn’t been lured away a long time ago. Oh and btw less than a week later it’s nearing 31 million views

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