IAB Canada’s Video Spotlight – December – Christmas Miracle 2014

Christmas Miracle 2014
True Reach: 3,954,988 views
Social Interactions: 230,833


WestJet broke through in the branded video universe with its 2013 holiday campaign, Christmas Miracle. Prior to that campaign, WestJet produced a fair amount of video, but most of it was not widely viewed; just one video on its YouTube channel had gained widespread viewership and surpassed one million views.

Christmas Miracle was the Canadian airline’s debut as a much watch video producer. In this heart-warming campaign, lucky WestJet passengers have their Christmas wishes granted by a WestJet-blue Santa who delivers presents via the baggage claim carousel. Whether the passengers asked for something as simple as socks, or as big-ticket as a big screen TV, the Canadian airline delivered the gifts with a hefty dose of holiday spirit.

The five-minute video, produced by the airline’s agencies Mosaic and Studio M, was the surprise hit of the 2013 holiday season. The campaign has garnered a True Reach® of more than 39.6 million views. It is now the most viewed holiday branded video of all time, beating out British advertisers like John Lewis that regularly make headlines with their holiday content. It was also proclaimed the best viral stunt of 2013 at the Ad Age Viral Video Awards.

While any brand would welcome the kind of exposure that WestJet received with Christmas Miracle, the dilemma for a brand is always how it can follow up on a hit campaign with something equally engaging.

For WestJet – along with Mosaic and Studio M – the answer was to keep the formula of its successful campaign, but change up location. Christmas Miracle 2014 moves the brand’s Santa stunt from the airport terminal to the Dominican Republic.

The video starts with a blue sleigh sitting at the end of a street in a small town near Puerto Plata. Children and adults in the community are asked to sit in the sleigh and video-chat with Santa, who asks what they want for Christmas. The children ask for toys like dolls and skateboards, while the adults ask for more practical items such as a washing machine, a new engine, and a horse.

The next day at a Christmas beach party, Santa shows up in his WestJet-blue suit with the requested gifts, even the live horse. Not only did WestJet fulfill these Christmas lists, but also it built a playground in the community.

Since the campaign launched on November 30, it has generated a True Reach of more than 3.9 million views and received over 230,000 social interactions. Within its first week of release, the campaign made the Ad Age Viral Video Chart’s No. 4 spot.

Christmas Miracle 2014 is now the brand’s second most viewed campaign of all time. In fact, the brand’s three most viewed campaigns are holiday stunts, which is little surprise since stunts are often a popular creative approach, regardless of industry.