Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WestJet's Holiday Video, The WestJet Christmas Miracle, Goes Viral

If you haven't seen WestJet's holiday video, The WestJet Christmas Miracle, you need to tune in. It's all about how WestJet and Santa teamed up to delight unsuspecting travelers with a real-time holiday surprise.

So how'd they do it? West Jet's Digital Command Centre and a team of 150+ merry WestJetters were transformed into Santa's helpers, delivering personalized gifts to travelers arriving at Calgary International Airport. 

But it all started at Toronto and Hamilton International Airports in Ontario, where 19 hidden cameras captured travelers revealing their Christmas wishes with a virtual Santa Claus as they awaited to board their flights to Calgary. Upon arrival in Alberta, the travelers were totally surprised when a festively decorated baggage carousel sprang to life, bearing the gifts that had asked for just hours before. 

Once the video reached 200,000 views (which was fairly immediate!), WestJetCares for Kids donated flights through Ronald McDonald House Charities, one of WestJet's six partner charities. By December 11, the video views topped 7 million. 

I've only flown WestJet once, from Prince George to Vancouver, and I recall the crew and flight attendants being both helpful and friendly (plus one of them told some particularly funny jokes). The Canadian airline was founded in 1996 by a group of Calgary entrepreneurs, headed up by Clive Beddoe. Back then, it was a small western Canada regional carrier with just three aircraft flying to five cities. Today, it's Canada's leading high-value, low-fare airline with service to 76 destinations in Canada, the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. Its fleet includes 98 Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft.