WestJet got into the Christmas spirit this year with a well-planned campaign that showed their customers how much they care – and showed the PR world just how far a little goodwill can go. This campaign provides yet another proof point that social media and PR belong together!
In the video, airline guests are greeted by Santa who, in his usual fashion, asks them what they’d like for Christmas. Little do they expect that WestJet airline employees are scrambling behind the scenes to buy, wrap and deliver those Christmas wishes before two flights land at their destinations. The airline’s customers are ecstatic when they see gifts with their name on them rolling out of the baggage claim area – many even shed a few tears.
Others who viewed the video had a similar reaction – one said, “This brought tears to my eyes. What an awesome idea to put smiles on the faces of all their passengers. West Jet really cares about people, and that is why they are so loved. Thanks for making all those passengers have a Merry Christmas. I love West Jet.”
Apart from putting smiles on people’s faces and tears in people’s eyes (and creating customers for life), they also got some fantastic press coverage, including an article from Forbes
. We ran a search in Meltwater News
to see just how much coverage this campaign generated, and found that they received more than double the press coverage for their holiday video than they did for their earlier partnership announcement. Talk about great PR!
In this writer’s humble opinion, I’d have to credit this success, in large part, to the social integration. While they could have just pitched this story to the press like any other (non-integrated) campaign, they instead released a video on YouTube and and encouraged viewers to share it on Twitter (viewers were told that WestJet would gift a flight to a family in need once they reached 200,000 views). By tying in social media, this campaign far exceeded expectations: WestJet’s VP of Communications said in an interview with Forbes that he was expecting maybe 800,000 video views – but that it had topped 13 million views within just a few days. As it stands now, the video has been viewed more than 31 million times.
All in all, this campaign has had a lasting effect on social media mentions, as you can see in the chart below. While the social mentions peaked at 1-2 days after the video was posted, WestJet has been getting some residual benefit well into this week.
If ever there was a good example of how social media can amplify your PR efforts, this is it. Well done, WestJet, well done.
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good flight!”