Did they actually do this though?
They did and it was quite involved:
Don’t be so modest, Richard. Christmas Miracle was a huge undertaking. In the works since August and filmed in November, it involved some 150
WestJet employees who did everything from coordinating logistics at the airport to high-speed shopping and wrapping, clearing gifts through airport
security and serving hot cocoa at baggage
There are a lot of reasons why this is so much better than a huge campaign done on billboards, tv, et al.
In this case, 150 employees got extra work to shop, wrap and clear gifts through security. Whether it's lumped in with their regular duties or added
on top, those people had more work for the campaign.
If you look at the reaction on the people's faces, it does the one thing that a lot of businesses forgot how to do, it made their customers happy.
And when it passes down the line it will make their family and friends happy, and to a stranger it might even kick up a little "pay it forward".
It cost the company less than a traditional campaign. Here's where the criticism kicks in, "See, they're greedy, using our emotions while they save
Normally millions go to agencies which some gets doled out to production, and the rest to media owners. These are all large corporate owned
distribution channels, the executives are well paid, and the money rarely ends up being appreciated the way it is here.
Not to say all campaigns should be done like this, but if you think about it, there are thousands of corporations in the US (many also operating in
Canada) that could afford to do campaigns like this. If each on did, they'd be making a positive impact, perhaps not a complete solution to the
problem, but certainly a step in the right direction.
A few are catching on. I was on the phone with one the other day trying to upsell me, when I called them on their shady upwelling tactics, and they
replied, "Oh yeah we know, we stopped that, this one I'm trying to get you is actually beneficial to you."
Which at the time I didn't fully believe, but he was actually telling the truth.