Tuesday, December 10, 2013

WestJet celebrates Christmas with joyful excess

Call me Scrooge, but this video that is going viral all over Canada doesn't warm my heart quite as much as it should:

Don't get me wrong. I actually really like the WestJet brand. It's an employee-owned airline, and the crews regularly sing, tell jokes, and do other fun things for the passengers. So surprising a flight with Christmas presents on arrival is totally on-strategy. (As is the Santa in their corporate indigo.)

The adman in me appreciates the concept, execution, and pure joy of this stunt. The part that bothers me a bit is the reinforcement of Christmas as a time to ask for — and receive — luxury goods from big box retailers. Yeah, sure, we all do it. But it would have been nice for the airline to give to people who really need things like food, shelter and company this winter. The best part of this promotion was when people wanted plane tickets home for the holidays. Now that's Christmas spirit!

On the lighter side, however, it's interesting to note that not everyone asked for big-ticket items. I wonder if the guy who asked for underpants was kicking himself later...

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