A Christmas Miracle in Real-Time: YouTube’s feel-good holiday sensation

advertising westjet christmas miracle

“A virtual Santa, 175 WestJet volunteers, 16 cameras in 3 airports and one on a plane, set up a miracle for the passengers of two Calgary-bound flights.”

Canadian airline WestJet and studio m created a heartwarming campaign that couldn’t help but become viral. It touched all the bases: the joy of giving, the excitement of those receiving and the contagious spirit of Christmas.

The campaign started with a brainstorming session at Toronto-based production company Studio M.

After a really successful FLASH-MOB in 2012, WestJet came to us and we all began discussing plans for something bigger, something better, for 2013.

So began the plotting of “Project Gatorwolf”, aka the “WestJet Christmas Miracle”.

Gatorwolf – as an undertaking – asked three unique questions: How would we be able to find out what every guest on a flight would want for Christmas? And, perhaps more importantly, how could we get that gift (that they just asked for) into their hands only hours later?  Oh, yeah, one more thing (kind of a biggie) — how we be able to film this whole process surreptitiously?

Enter Virtual Santa.  And enter 150 amazing WestJet volunteers.  And then add 16 cameras in 3 airports (and one on a plane) into the mix.

We can’t help being proud of this.  We knew it would be challenging, and fun, and that it would take a ton of effort from all involved.  We just didn’t imagine it’d be so darn emotional.

When the video reached 200,000 views on YouTube, WestJet Cares for Kids committed to donate flights to needy families through Ronald McDonald House Charities. The video has received over 19 million views within weeks. 

“It makes WestJet stand out as a company that goes outside of the norm to take care of its customers,” – David Soberman, the Canadian National Chair of Strategic Marketing with the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

Check out the video below. It’s great! Happy Holidays from Michael Gass and Fuel Lines 

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.

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