Watch the video above to see WestJet airlines, a Canadian low cost carrier, playing Santa to their customers. I challenge you not to have a warm fuzzy feeling by the end and surely that's what Christmas is all about.
Who knows how much this ultimate marketing stunt may have cost, but let's look at the benefits.
1. Surprised and delighted customers
What a story. An experience like this gives customers something to tell their family and friends. They want to talk about you and will continue to share the unexpectedness of this experience for a long time to come, both off and online.
If you were one of the passengers on this flight, how keen would you be to book WestJet again? I'm guessing they'd be your first choice. It's human nature - someone does something nice for you and you feel the need to reciprocate. Beyond this though, the WestJet brand has just given itself a rather wonderful personality, helping customers to link it with generosity, imagination and heart. Fabulous differentiators, especially in a market where choice is often dictated by price.
3. WestJet team building
Watching those WestJet employees take a break from their normal routine, to rush round a store buying and wrapping presents, you could tell they were having fun. Everyone felt part of the passenger secret, and proud to work for a brand which was exceeding all expectations. Often marketing is so focused on gaining and retaining customers, that it forgets the employees who make it all happen. This event will also be shared by employees, keen to show how they helped deliver Christmas.
4. International visibility
I live in Scotland which is rather a long way from the Calgary based WestJet. Had they not performed this act of genius, I might never have known they existed, but now I do. We spend so much time trying to get eyeballs on our content, clicks on our links and engagement on our social media and this five minute youtube video has now been watched by almost 30 million people worldwide. Quite a return on investment.