WestJet spreads Christmas cheer with 12 magical flights


‘Tis the season to be jolly, spread some festive joy, and put smiles on faces with a heart-warming brand experience.

And when it comes to touching, festive fun, no brand can hold a candle to WestJet.

In what has now become an annual tradition for the Canadian airline, WestJet has spanned the whole of Canada this year to deliver a host of Christmas miracles with its ’12 Flights of Christmas’ experiential marketing campaign.

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For 12 days in the lead up to the big day, the airline has surprised thousands of guests in airports throughout Canada with a series of very special brand experiences straight from the minds of those with the best imagination – children.

The brand invited a group of young ‘WestJetters’ from the Boys and Girls Club of Canada to take part in a Christmas miracle brainstorm and come up with their very best festive surprises.

Giant gingerbread houses. Dancers. Huge advent calendars. A Christmas concert. Puppies. Massive piles of presents. All of these, and much more, became a reality as the childrens’ holiday dreams took flight in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and other major destinations across the Great White North.

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The moving video, released earlier this week, compiles 12 flights that were all broadcast by the brand to Facebook Live over 12 consecutive days in late November. WestJet had asked its fans to vote each day for one of two seasonal options to take place – but waited until the campaign hero video to reveal that all of the ideas were, in fact, devised by a special group of kids.

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The involvement of some big Canadian celebrity names, including the Toronto Blue Jays’ Aaron Sanchez, tennis player Genie Bouchard, former Bacherlorette Jillian Harris and retired news anchor Peter Mansbridge, adds a whole new dimension to WestJet’s Christmas activation this year and has contributed to huge reach for the series of Facebook Live videos thus far.

As well as spreading real-life cheer to commuters in the weeks leading up to what will no doubt be an incredibly testing travelling period for many, the campaign also serves as an opportunity for WestJet to bolster its long-standing partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, donating $10,000 to the St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club in Toronto for the organisation’s involvement.

With the brand’s famous Blue Santa delighting passengers once again by bestowing free flights – fast-becoming a calling card for WestJet in the lead-up to Christmas – this year’s integrated approach cleverly combines live brand experiences with digital marketing and live content (tipped to be one of 2018’s big marketing trends) to deliver a video destined to be shared far and wide; one that should make even the biggest Grinch’s heart grow a little bit bigger.

And if you’re not feeling filled with the festive spirit just yet, fear not – our round-up of 5 of the best experiential Christmas campaigns will have you reaching for a Christmas cracker before you can say Bah Humbug.

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Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.