Airline marketing is something that is genuinely hard to get right. Some airlines excel at it (like Royal Jordanian) and some, well, not so much (examples include Air India’s Sad-men-in-the-lounge photo shoot, American’s oddly nonsensical “World’s Greatest Flyers” ad campaign, and of course United’s “Fly the Friendly Skies” slogan… that’s a great joke if I ever heard one).
One airline with pretty good marketing skills is WestJet, the Canadian low-cost carrier. Their April Fools videos (like the one about stuffing children in the cargo hold) are hilarious, but their most recent ad was something else. Here’s the video for y’all:
So, they spent a huge amount of money to set up a gigantic light show in the desert in order to tell someone in a highly expensive way that they won something and to celebrate the 21st anniversary of their starting operations, as well as their having carried more passengers to Las Vegas than any other non-US airline. The winner (whose seat number was flashed up by the huge light display) got a 2,500 dollar shopping credit at Caesar’s Palace, two free nights at the Venetian hotel, tickets to three shows, and a free roundtrip ticket on WestJet, among other smaller prizes. Clearly a lot of time and money went in to this, and, unless I’m missing something big, doesn’t seem to have paid off too much. The video has “only” 150,000 views, while, for example, their most recent April Fools day video has more than triple that. While I certainly don’t have a degree in marketing, I’m not sure this was a good use of time and money.