5 Powerful Christmas ads by Airlines

5 Powerful Christmas ads by Airlines

Airlines are busy during the holiday season. If you are expat living abroad, you may feel the call to go home strongest around Christmas. Inevitably, millions of travellers make their way around the globe to be reunited with friends and family. It is a season where emotion sells, and many companies make excellent use of this in their marketing. Airlines are already busy anyhow, but it is the perfect marketing opportunity to generate brand awareness and positive feelings with prospective customers. After all, they can associate themselves with the feeling of going home for the holidays. In and of itself this generates a strong emotional connection. On top of this, people tend to associate strong patriotic feelings with their national airline, which is a feeling some companies rely on in their campaigns. For example, Air Canada.

Air Canada’s gift of home for Christmas

I was not born in Canada, and I do not have a Canadian passport. However, after effectively growing up (or rather growing into an adult) in Canada I feel first and foremost Canadian. I fly Air Canada every time I go back to Canada, and I fly Star Alliance everywhere else, whenever possible. Air Canada did an awesome campaign in my new home town: London. I wish I would’ve been at the Maple Leaf pub the night they filmed this, it would’ve made a big difference for me as well. Either way, it is a great video and a powerful idea drawing on our heart strings, and patriotism.

KLM Wishing you a Magical Christmas

I am Dutch. Although I have not lived full time in the Netherlands since I was 18, I will always be Dutch. In fact, the longer I am an expat, the more Dutch I feel myself becoming sometimes. For this reason alone I’ll always have affinity with my other national airline: KLM. This year KLM tried to bring some holiday magic to their advertisement. It’s a pretty good video, but doesn’t compare to their own #HappyToHelp campaign

West Jet: It is better to give, than to receive

West Jet put together a video for Christmas showing the magic of giving. This year they gave Christmas gifts to an entire community in the Dominican Republic. Last year, it was to West Jet travellers. It could be becoming a trend as far as their Christmas marketing strategy goes, and that makes me curious for next year.

Air New Zealand spreading Christmas cheer

Air New Zealand put together some surprises for their passengers. They delivered presents on 11 Air New Zealand flights, to all passengers aboard. A very nice campaign, but reminds me of the campaign done by West Jet last year, where passengers were asked their Christmas wish before boarding, and the presents were actually bought and delivered in the baggage reclaim area at their destination. Comparing the two campaigns the ideas are the same, but as far as execution goes West Jet wins. The effect of delivering packages where passengers were expecting luggage gave them not only some amazing footage for the campaign, but created some serious joy for the passengers. The feel good credit they achieved with anyone watching the video afterwards must have substantially raised their profile as well. Achieving over 37 million views, it goes without saying that this video did a lot for their brand building!

Below the Air New Zealand video from this year, and below it the West Jet campaign from last year.

West Jet’s 2013 Christmas Campaign. One of the most well thought out campaigns I have seen to date. The Kid exclaiming “no way” was just as priceless as the guy who wanted socks and underwear. I wonder… wouldn’t he regret not having asked for a big screen TV as well?

To all travellers out there, may your travels bring you safely to a very magical and merry Christmas!

Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".


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