Winter holiday air travel is usually not a joyful experience – with the crowds, delays and cancellations galore. A cute idea turned into a massive viral stunt and created what media experts would call “a Christmas Miracle ambient media campaign“. In this case, that airline would be WestJet. The Calgary-based airline is tearing off the wrapping paper behind their four-month video project to pull off a “Christmas Miracle” for 250 passengers.
The airline sets up virtual kiosks at Hamilton and Toronto International Airports for two Calgary-bound flights. Passengers scanned their boarding pass, prompting a video stream of a WestJet Santa asking what passengers want for the holidays. Meanwhile in a studio in Calgary, volunteers recorded their requests then scrambled to buy, wrap and deliver all the presents to Calgary International Airport so they fall out of the luggage carousel just as the passengers arrive.
What did the passengers wish for? The present wishes ranged from fresh underwear to a big-screen TV.
The airline’s made another huge promise. According to the WestJet, once the video hits 200,000 views on YouTube, it will start giving out free flights to families in need via its partners with Ronald McDonald House Charities. Before Christmas, the video was clicked by more than half a million people. So far, the video reached 35 Mio. viewers (March 2014)