WestJet's Christmas Surprise and Other Holiday Marketing Tactics

As the song goes, ‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year.' Business’s everywhere are pulling out all the stops to make their company first and foremost in the mind of their consumer. With all the promises black Friday brings for retailers and the influx of business during the holiday season, creative marketing teams need to pull out all the stops, to win over the potential customer

Viral videos are the magical tool that can give an advertiser the most bang for their buck, and this holiday season Canadian airline Westjet achieved that very thing. Having traveled with the airline I am familiar with their casual, friendly service. The flight attendants tell jokes during the safety announcements and although they are a no frill budget airline, the staff make you feel comfortable enough that you do not notice. This week at Toronto and Hamilton airports the Calgary based airline set up a Santa chat box that asked passengers what they wanted for Christmas. The travelers were surprised that the Santa knew their names but an even bigger surprise awaited them at their destination when their Christmas wishes arrived on the baggage carousel wrapped in blue ribbon and labeled with their names. The entire tear jerking experience was packed into a commercial that went viral in a matter of hours. Canadian business professor Patti Derbyshire commented that, “the marketing campaign could prove to have a positive effect on the airline for years to come.” 

Apple’s Christmas offering this year is the 12 days of gifts iOS app that gives away a ‘gift’ a day between December 26 and January 6. A free song, app, book or movie will be delivered to the customers’ iPhone or iPad from the iTunes store. This kind of customer appreciation gift is a popular way for a company to instill customer loyalty at a time they are considering where they are going to spend their holiday shopping money.

Anticipation and hype are wonderful ways to market a product and nobody does this better than video console manufacturers. This year Microsoft gaming company Xbox released their new Xbox One, and to ensure that it is on the top of everyone’s Christmas list they will release the most popular game played on the system the day before Christmas. Halo: Spartan Assault will be available on the 24 of December which will secure Xbox as a hot product throughout the holiday season and into the new year.

The holiday season is synonymous with gift giving and many companies choose the social responsibility route to attract business.  Companies arrange food drives and donation collection to encourage their customers to feel involved in the spirit of the season. Although corporate responsibility is performed throughout the year, companies understand that people are more likely to donate at Christmas time.  Manufacturers and corporations can benefit from offering a percentage of the proceeds from a seasonal item or service to charity as these items are popular gifts, and some large companies will give a cash donation to a charity of their choice sending a message to the consumer that they care.

What would you have asked Santa for in the WestJet Airport? Comment below!