The Canadian airline pulled another perfectly executed marketing stunt a few days ago. Westjet Christmas miracle made it into a viral video. But what are the ingredients that made this stunt a winning and inspiring marketing example?
1. IT’S HEART-WARMING, TEAR-JERKING AND ULTIMATELY CREATIVE
A moving Christmas scene, with tears of happiness, happy kids and dreams come true set in a very creative way, always pays.
2. IT’S A SWEETER VERSION OF GUERRILLA MARKETING BASED ON REAL-TIME GIVING
This is a very sweet form of interactive guerrilla marketing, based on the principle of giving without expecting anything in return (except for pure customer engagement) and all in real time. The customer is this time given the chance to speak and be heard outside the common online platform.
3. IT’S ATYPICAL FOR ITS INDUSTRY
What airline gives you unsolicited gifts? We often find ourselves cursing low costs that offer a relatively inexpensive travel alternative but provide a very cheap service, airlines that charge for every single piece of carry-on and documented luggage, and then lose it. So the last thing we expected to see is a low cost airline that asks its passengers what they want for Christmas and then acts like a branded version of Santa.
4. SAY IT, YOU WISH YOU WERE ON THAT FLIGHT
The video unleashes the envious side of the viewer. You wish so bad you were on that flight and could have that snowboard, HD Tv or tablet for yourself and for free, that you’ll start hoping a new Christmas stunt will be pulled off on your next flight.
5. IT’S A LOW COST CAMPAIGN UNLIKE WHAT THEY LEAD YOU TO THINK
Building awareness, reaching brand goodwill to ultimately increase online traffic and sales can be very expensive on the long run. Advertising campaigns usually utilize high-priced ad spaces (like billboards, magazines, busy blogs, etc.) or are deployed for a long term or in multiple locations in order to maximize exposure. All Westjet needed in order to execute this innovative marketing initiative was a couple hundred gifts and 2 teams of employees in Santa-mode: only some of the gifts were hi-end products representing a real cost for the airline. The man that opens up a small package containing just socks and underwear clearly wishes he had asked for more.
6. IT’S A HIGHLY SOCIAL & SHAREABLE CONTENT, HASHTAGGED AND PURE VIRAL LOVE
Westjet turned the single stunt into a video, the campaign was hashtagged #WestjetChristmas all over social media networks and the video(s) went viral.
Westjet also promised to donate flights to families in need through the Ronald McDonald House Charities if 200,000 people watched the video. So far, the clip reached 11 million views…
The bottom line? Share love and love you shall get. But, I have to say it, go beyond the commercial and materialistic. One less gift, one more hug.
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