This year, the Christmas season is not only being picked up and used for marketing by retailers, the tourism industry is also taking advantage of the festive season. Throughout the industry, a growing popularity in using inspiring videos is evident. Many tourism businesses see the Christmas season not only as a time for families to come together and celebrate but also a time when consumers are travelling to get from one place to another and visit friends and families worldwide. Therefore inspiring videos are often a very powerful tool in marketing and many take advantage of using these for branding purposes. The Canadian airline WestJet is one example for that and was shared millions of times via social networking sites. The video was so successful it did go viral which is an incredible achievement for a video in today’s digital world and has huge positive implications for overall marketing. Money can hardly buy that level of exposure (Mashable 2013).
WestJet had an idea to disrupt the holiday season in which consumers mainly face delays, lost luggage or other things that may keep them away from their end destination when wanting to fly. Therefore, WestJet had the idea to install a virtual Santa Claus at two Canadian airports, Toronto and Hamilton International Airports. Customers of the airline waiting for the flight, got the chance to speak to the virtual Santa and talk about what it was they wanted for christmas to be under their tree. However, none of the passengers of these 2 flights expected anything else to happen other than talking to Santa Claus before boarding the flight.
While flying to Calgary, the 150 strong WestJet crew however then went onto a shopping trip to gather the personalised presents of all the passengers on the flights. All gifts were wrapped and then handed out in Calgary in the baggage area. All of this was filmed by hidden cameras to capture the unique surprise and then transformed into an inspirational video.
WHY INSPIRING VIDEOS?
The answer to this is fairly straightforward. With more than 30 million views to date, WestJet received a level of exposure that the airline would probably not have marketing budget for. When a video goes viral and is shared by millions of people worldwide, this is something that no marketer can predict and no marketer would expect when launching a video. Also the fact that the airline would donate flights, if the video was viewed half a million times also demonstrates the fact that although the video is great and is done to a very high standard, the airline did see half a million views as a great success. With more than 30 million views, it is clear that inspirational videos appeal to consumers, as they have a message, they show something unique that consumers might not have seen or experienced before. During christmas, we now see a few other inspirational videos appearing and due to their nature of not trying to sell anything directly or promoting a specific product or service, that is what makes them very successful.
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