Author   |    Speaker   |    Chief Content Officer

What can marketers learn from the WestJet Christmas Miracle video? How can you coax buttoned-up executives to get on board with some playful improv? What’s it mean to give “generous content gifts”?

In a special holiday edition of our new show – Better Marriage Through PowerPointTim Washer and I discuss all this and more:

A few show highlights follow.

1. A Heartwarming Story Paired With Powerful Brand Storytelling

WestJet won Christmas this year, at least from a marketing perspective.

WestJet’s Christmas Miracle video — wherein a purple-clad Santa stuns an airplane full of passengers by making their wishes come true — has attracted more than 23 million views on YouTube and plenty of social media love for the small Calgary-based airline. (Had you heard of WestJet before last week? I hadn’t.)

Most importantly, the video is completely on-brand with the airline’s bigger story of a fun, friendly, caring culture that WestJet VP Richard Bartrem articulates here.

2. Humor as an Emerging B2B Marketing Trend in 2014

Tim recently produced a series of videos Cisco made at its CIO conference in Orange County, and here he shares the back story of how he pulled it off, and why it worked so well.

“You create an opportunity so it’s a good thing for them,” he says. “I was so surprised at how playful everybody was.”

3. Planning for 2014: Give Your Customers a Gift

“How can you delight your customers? How can you surprise them?” As I talk about all the time, we need to relentlessly and continually focus on our customers and think about things with extreme empathy. “Extreme Empathy” sounds like a reality TV show, but it really just meant to get out of our own heads, and into theirs.

Your content marketing doesn’t always have to be funny (like Cisco’s). It doesn’t always have to be an expensive and complicated (like WestJet’s). But it must maintain a generous mindset: “How can we give them a gift?” (Even if that “gift” just helps them make a decision or explain things more clearly.)

Humor and surprise and extreme empathy can be your differentiator in 2014. So now is the time to start planning.

Like what you see? We’d appreciate it if you subscribed to the Better Marriage Through PowerPoint YouTube channel here.

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15 Responses to WestJet Christmas Not a Miracle, but a Mindset to Adopt in 2014 #BMTPPT [New Video Series]

  1. Gordon Diver says:

    Thanks for this. A nice addition to the landscape, fun, informative and timely.

  2. Danny Brown says:

    WestJet is one of Canada’s greatest success stories. Everyone talks about JetBlue and the service they offer (and they’re awesome) but WestJet is built on employees. Every employee has a stake in the company, and the mantra is every customer is special.

    This video is a perfect example of their mantra. 🙂

    • Ann Handley says:

      Exactly! I’d never heard of them, Danny. But way to get on the map… !

      Love that they value employees that much, too. Awesome.

      • What Danny said. We’re in Edmonton and I fly only WestJet if possible. They’re friendly, fun and really follow through on customer service. I think they have one of the strongest airline social media presences out there – keep an eye on them.

  3. We loved this video Ann & Tim! And it’s been amazing to see the impact it’s had on WestJet’s social media following: Before they uploaded their “Christmas Miracle” video, WestJet had around 3,700 subscribers (as of early Dec). Now, their YouTube channel has nearly 25,000 subscribers – a 576% jump in just a few weeks! Go team Canada for great content marketing 🙂

  4. Doug Kessler says:

    Love it! Just getting to eavesdrop on you guys is my idea of a good time.

    Note to self: bug Ann & Tim’s phones. Quit job. Buy Beer.
    Would that be creepy?

  5. Ann, have you seen the movie Love Actually? The beginning and end of the movie show people greeting their loved ones at London’s Heathrow Airport with The Beach Boys classic, “God Only Knows,” playing in the background. That’s what I thought of when watched West Jet’s amazing storytelling — it’s that good!

    The scene when the woman opens her gift to find the digital camera she asked Santa for is priceless — her reaction really got to me.

  6. JourneyMart says:

    I like it, thanks for sharing idea in blogging just like Marketing Trend, Gift idea and many more.

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