WestJet’s holiday video is sweeping through social media and if you have not yet seen it, take the time. From concepting to execution, this is a thing of beauty.
The Canadian airline’s video is a work of art by itself; but as a proactive branding message it’s extraordinary. There will be dark days in WestJet’s future. No airline avoids them. From delays to icy runways to the really bad stuff, WestJet will have days filled with struggles and bad news.
That is not to say this video is a PR stunt. It’s smart PR, probably award-winning PR. But it’s not cynical. That doesn’t mean it won’t serve dual purposes.
Companies spend nearly all their time building and burnishing their reputation. That’s at work here. But there is a “saving for a rainy day” mentality at work. If you are a “bad” company with low approval scores and tanking sales, a wrong move drives you lower. But if you are a “good” company — and what other explanation is possible for WestJet after watching the video? — you inoculate yourself against at least some of the bad.
Plus, it’s a lot more fun to watch a holiday video that churns the sugar plums than it is to dwell on the bad.
Blue Santas for all.
The content of this blog is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It originates with Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and in four top editor positions at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agencies, with seven offices in the Northeast and Southeast. Learn more about EMA at http://www.mower.com. Steve’s blog is based on his own opinions and does not represent the views or positions of Eric Mower + Associates.