WestJet asks Canadians to donate their ‘Christmas Miracles’

This year's campaign features Santa and Scrooge giving people the choice of giving their gifts to families at Ronald McDonald House.
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WestJet has a long track record of surprising Canadians with free trips and travel around the holidays, but for this year’s “Christmas Miracle” campaign, it asked whether those gifts might be better off given to a family in need.

A giant blue Santa hat located at a Christmas market in Toronto housed a winter wonderland-style scene with snow and trees. A holographic version of Blue Santa – who has appeared in many previous “Christmas Miracle” campaigns – then appears to help visitors pick out a gift box, which contains things like WestJet gift cards and free trips. Santa then gives them the option of donating their gift to families at Ronald McDonald House, but “Ebeniza Scrooge” appears to try and tempt them into keeping it, using methods like increasing the value of the gift card or adding experiences to the trips.

The video does not shy away from the fact that some of the visitors did choose to keep the gifts – some, for example, had never been able to go on these kinds of vacations together, and the Santa projection was clear that there were “no wrong answers” – but those who chose to donate were invited to Ronald McDonald House Charities South Central Ontario in Hamilton, where they could deliver the donated flights to families in person.

“The conversation around giving and receiving is a powerful one and this year’s video finds inspiration in both sides of the story,” said Richard Bartrem, WestJet VP of marketing communications. WestJet has highlighted the heartwarming ways trips and other experiences can help brighten the holiday season, going back to 2012′s “Christmas Flash Mob.” The airline has also found ways to give back to those who haven’t been part of the experiential executions in person: last year’s “Christmas Miracle” campaign helped families reunite with loved ones overseas, mirroring WestJet’s own recent ambitions to become a global airline, and also featured Blue Santa giving gifts to children in Haiti.

The “Christmas Miracle” campaigns have tied into WestJet’s broader brand positioning around “caring” for customers throughout the travel process, as reflected in its most recent brand campaign.

WestJet and RMHC have worked together for more than 10 years as part of WestJet Cares for Kids. Launched in 2007, the CSR program donates flights to eight charities working with children and youth to help them deliver their services and support their work. RMHC has previously been featured in other giving-centric campaigns from WestJet, namely around occasions like Father’s Day.

As in past years, the 2019 “Christmas Miracle” campaign was led by agency partner Studio M with Media Experts on media. Toronto’s ARHT Media provided the holographic technology.