Villing & Company

A Christmas Miracle

Next time someone asks what my dream PR project would be, I know just what I’ll say.

My answer: become one of Santa’s elves and spread Christmas cheer! Why? Well first, I love Christmas (who doesn't?). Even though the holidays can be stressful, there’s no doubt that this is a special time of year. And second, there would be nothing more rewarding than playing a role in a project designed to create Christmas miracles that bring smiles and even tears of joy to people's faces.

Well, there’s proof it can happen. Spreading Christmas cheer is all in a day’s work at WestJet, a Canadian airline. According to the company’s blog, 175 WestJet volunteers, three airports and Santa himself worked together to make the Christmas miracle happen for more than 250 guests on two flights to Calgary. They filmed the stunt and posted it on YouTube. Over the past few days, the "WestJet Christmas Miracle: Real-Time Giving" video has gained over 31 million YouTube views and media attention across the world.

Thanks to all of those views, WestJet continues to give. They set a goal of 200,000 views and promised to donate flights to families in need. In an update on their website, WestJet stated, "we've surpassed our goal of 200,000 views, and will be working with Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada to select a family to donate flights to. Thanks to everyone who shared our video, and for all the positive comments".

WestJet hit the branding jackpot on this one. The project is a testament to the true definition of PR… It isn't about what you say about yourself, it’s what other people are saying about you.

It’s about building an emotional connection to a brand, not just a thought. Like me, many of you were probably unaware of WestJet prior to seeing the video. But, now you and millions of others know that WestJet is a Canadian airline and unless you’re Scrooge, you have a pretty positive feeling about the brand too.

This isn't the first time WestJet has spread holiday cheer to its passengers... see last year's Christmas Flash Mob. Westjetters, keep up the good work. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year.

And, if you want to see more of the #WestJetChristmas, check out Santa’s Bloopers video.

Filed Under: public relations

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