How Social Media Muscled in on Canada Day
Who could forget the amazing Westjet Christmas Miracle commercial that went viral just before Christmas?
In it, children and adults waiting in Hamilton and Toronto airports asked Santa for gifts. When they boarded their Westjet flights to Calgary, airline employees rushed out and bought the gifts, wrapped and delivered them so that they were waiting with the luggage when the travelers arrived.
It was an amazing, feel-good pre-Christmas vision that was shared and shared through social media. It was released on December 9th and by December 12th over 13 million people had seen it. By now it has been seen by over 36 million people in every country in the world except Kazakhstan.
I know you’ve seen it, but if you need a little boost, here it is again.
Advertisers and social commentators love these viewing statistics, not just because of the number of viewers, but because these videos are shared like good gossip or stories between friends. They come with authenticity and approval to each new viewer.
So back to Canada Day
I enjoyed CraftyG’s post “Cheers to Canada Day” https://algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/cheers-to-canada-day-com0011-3/
In contrast to that thoughtful and thought provoking article, I got several shares of the Canadian beer ad.
In under a week it has been shared by over 1.8 million viewers.
It’s brilliant, but what does it mean? It’s cute and funny and a bit patriotic. It makes viewers feel good because people are shown happily singing our national anthem in strange locations to a refrigerator, while hoping to get a beer. This is a story our friends share with us. We need to understand its message. Our attitudes and emotions are shaped by this story, but because it is shared and approved by our friends and our friend’s friends and millions of others, social media marketing is helping to shape our national consciousness.
What is the message really saying?