2019 Winner


Uniting Through Traditions

Studio M

BronzeROI Strategy

WestJet was beginning to launch into new global territory. It had always been known as a low-cost domestic carrier, but needed to build its profile as a global airline.

WestJet’s “Christmas Miracle” program – which first saw airline staffers dance and sing in an orchestrated flash mob, back when they were a thing in 2013 – has been a successful annual brand-building event for the last six years. Miracles have generally been granted to locals, but because the brand was expanding globally, it decided to expand the campaign well beyond Canada’s borders.

The team, which also included Studio M, looked for common traditions that would unite people around the world (in fact, 160 countries) over Christmas. The brand landed on a universal truth when it comes to the holidays: no matter where a person is in the world, spending time with loved ones is the most important tradition.

The insight was used to build the “Uniting Through Traditions” campaign, where WestJet’s Blue Santa flew across six continents using the airline’s global fleet. He created a unique documentary-style video every day, from surfing in Australia and feasting in France to delivering Christmas gifts to villages in Haiti. During his content-filled journey, Blue Santa also surprised unsuspecting guests with family reunions in England.

On its own, the campaign generated $11 million in sales, which was more than $12 in immediate revenue for every dollar invested. That’s an ROI of 1,257% (which is why the campaign won a Bronze in ROI Strategy). Overall, the effort led to a 27% increase in sales year-over-year and proved that old ideas can be made to feel young again.

Richard Bartrem Vice-President, Marketing Communications at WestJet
Rob Daintree Director, Marketing at WestJet
Corey Evans Sr Manager, Content at WestJet
Christina Clifford Experiential Marketing Advisor at WestJet
Jessica Reynolds Experiential Marketing Advisor at WestJet
Kaitie Weaver Experiential Marketing Advisor at WestJet
Greg Hounslow Emerging Media Manager at WestJet
Kayley Gallaher Emerging Media Advisor at WestJet
Lauren Stewart Emerging Media Manager at WestJet
Jennifer Aprile Cunningham CLIENT SERVICES at studio m
Klint Davies COPYWRITER at studio m
Joel Felker COPYWRITER at studio m
Michael Laderoute GRAPHICS at studio m
Michi Lepik-Stahl EXECUTIVE PRODUCER at Unified Content
Heidi Burbela SENIOR PRODUCER at Unified Content
Ben Sulzenko PRODUCER at Unified Content
Aarin MacKay PRODUCER at Unified Content
Jes Clarke ASSOCIATE PRODUCER at Unified Content
Bryan Reid DIRECTOR at Unified Content
Navin Ramaswaran DIRECTOR/DOP at Unified Content
Nick Tessier 2nd CAMERA/AC/DMT at Unified Content
Alex Spence 2nd CAMERA/AC/DMT at Unified Content
Ben Sulzenko DRONE at Unified Content
Samii Folliott PRODUCTION COORDINATOR at Unified Content
Jay Ryan MOTION GRAPHICS at Unified Content
Peter Miller EDITORS at Unified Content
Mike Donis EDITORS at Unified Content
Marcus Barrie EDITORS at Unified Content
Rebecca Burtnik DIGITAL ASSET MANAGER at Unified Content
Kristina Mileska COLOURIST at Unified Content
POST AUDIO at Toronto Sound
Antony Larrivière Account Director at BAM Strategy
Bernande Duré Digital Producer at BAM Strategy
Heather Manchee Team Lead, Guest Communications at WestJet
John Hilsenteger Guest Communications Designer at WestJet
George Huovinen Director at MediaSystems Design
Nikki Foster Supervisor at MediaSystems Design
Emily Furtado Manager at MediaSystems Design

For registration inquiries, please contact Ben Soldinger at bsoldinger@brunico.com.
For partnership inquiries, please contact Neil Ewen at newen@brunico.com.