Obscure Discount Canadian Airline Wins Christmas on YouTube

Santa-themed WestJet spot generates 25 million views in a week

Elaborate stunts have become a marketing staple on YouTube. So it stood to reason that some brand would plans something holiday themed that would take off this year. Still, it was hard to see WestJet being that brand.

But a five-minute-plus spot featuring a crew of WestJet employees scrambling to deliver Christmas gifts to surprised passengers exploded this past week, landing it atop the VideoWatch/VidIQ charts with close to 25 million views. In the clip, prior to boarding a WestJet flight, passengers encountered a digital Santa who asked them what they wanted for Christmas. Then WestJet went out and bought everyone on the flight gifts, which were delivered when the plane landed—i.e. real-time giving.

While the long clip managed only a 47 percent view-through rate, per VidIQ, it clearly struck an emotional cord with holiday-spirited Americans (WestJet got nearly 20 million more views than the second place spot). Check out the full ranking here: