This morning I woke to see WestJet has taken their campaign from 2013 Christmas and made it better.
Did you see last year’s campaign? The WestJet team placed a screen at the gate and via video link, Santa asked each passenger what they wanted for Christmas. When the passengers collected their bags at the other end, their chosen gifts were also on the baggage carousel. With tears in their eyes, people shared it around the world. People who didn’t know the Canadian airline suddenly knew of “the airline who played Santa”.
This year WestJet made it better. Instead of giving gifts to paying passengers, they visited a Dominican Republic community. Kids requested toys and skateboards. Adults requested washing machines and other things needed for work. Even a horse.
WestJet granted all the wishes (included the horse), AND threw the community a party. The kids saw their first snow – very Canadian. As WestJet Santa left, he gave his final gift: a playground for all the kids.
So how did WestJet own Christmas?
There is no sales message. The immediate recipients aren’t WestJet customers and have probably never flown in a plane. The actual action is a selfless, and expensive, act that will help the community for years to come. Sure, ticket sales will increase, but they could have run a Christmas sale to get the same rise.
Why Did WestJet Do It?
Brand loyalty. I live on the US side of the border, so I know nothing about WestJet’s service – they could be terrible. But now they’re known as the loving, caring airline, and that will go a long, long way.
Did you miss last year’s campaign?
and WestJet recruiters, let’s talk.