Grab a Tissue and Watch How WestJet Created a Christmas Miracle for Struggling Families

Airline shops locally to surprise a Dominican Republic village

WestJet does the holidays right. Last year, the Canadian airline surprised its passengers with gifts at the baggage carousel; a lovely spot and a tearjerker for sure. Now WestJet has me sniffling yet again, this time with surprises for residents of a village in the Dominican Republic.

Families sit in a blue sleigh, talking to Santa via video chat, telling him what they want for Christmas. WestJet employees then race to buy gifts (locally!), and present them at a party on the beach (with snow). This time, the gifts aren't just flat-screen TVs and cameras; they also include practical and much-needed items like a washing machine, a motorcycle engine and a horse—enabling locals in the community of Nuevo Renacer to provide for their families. WestJet even built a small playground for the local children to use long after the visit was over.

It's lovely and endearing, and for those who will say this is simply a calculated marketing tactic, shhh shhhhh, just enjoy it and let the brand have its moment. Pluses to note, I think, are that this "stunt" happened in a country where WestJet isn't readily available (unlike Canada), and that their local purchases helped support the area's economy.

Ahh, WestJet, I love you. Now send me tissues.

Roo Powell is freelance contributor to Adweek.
Publish date: December 2, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT