WestJet has created a Canadian advertising tradition of sorts over the last decade, with its annual feel-good Christmas Miracle videos.
There’s a new idea each year, but they’ve all been similar thematically: WestJet employees doing nice things, usually for unsuspecting customers, to reinforce a message of giving and connecting loved ones—a universal sweet spot for any airline. (For you ad historians, it started with this one in 2012.)
The 2021 video, published Monday and created as it usually is by Studio M, is about the forced absences and unusual Christmas circumstances caused by the pandemic last year, with the more joyous prospect of travel becoming an option again (though this was clearly shot before Omicron reared its ugly mutated head).
“The pandemic impacted everyone’s ability to connect with families and friends for far too long and we’ve truly missed celebrating those moments with our guests,” said Richard Bartrem, WestJet’s vice-president, brand, communications and community investment, in a release. “Hearing Canadians’ wishes, we knew we could do something meaningful given how important travel is to Canadians from coast-to-coast.”
Using a faux documentary as a pretence to conduct video “streeters,” WestJet got people talk about how much they’ve missed their family over the last almost two years, and it’s pretty obvious where the story is going. Except this nearly five-minute video has a couple of twists.
So, yeah, WestJet employees surprise unsuspecting interview subjects with tickets, either to see the loved ones they missed last year or to take vacations, but that gets wrapped up by about 2:30. At that point, rather than a flight home one couple gets a WestJet Vacation to Cancun. But wait there’s more…
After being greeted at a scenic hotel with a stunning pool and views over the Caribbean, the couple are surprised again, with the woman’s parents who’ve been flown in from London. So the WestJet Christmas Miracle has a couple of twists and turns, but we still get to the same happy ending we wanted—especially after nearly two years of being mostly stuck at home and, for many, kept apart from those who mean the most to us.
“We truly hope this year’s Christmas Miracle brings joy and the personal connection we’ve all been wishing for the most,” said Bartrem. “As the skies open once again, we look forward to doing what we’ve been doing so well for 25 years—connecting our guests with their loved ones.”