The holidays are fast approaching. With the inevitable glut of competition around this time of year, one Canadian airline chose an unlikely holiday to reach new customers with programmatic advertising in 2017.
WestJet is a Canadian airline that offers fun, friendly, and affordable air travel, and prides itself on its emotionally driven seasonal campaigns like Christmas Miracle: real-time giving, and Coach Dad: Father’s Day Surprise in partnership with Ronald McDonald House.
But once a year they pride themselves on their oversized funny bone. WestJet is also known for their larger than life April Fools’ pranks and 2017 was no exception:
“Every year, WestJet prides itself on pulling off stellar April Fools' pranks. This year being Canada's 150th anniversary, WestJet wanted to show that they were indeed the most Canadian airline in Canada and as such why not change their name to ‘Canada Air’ (poke and nudge to ‘the other guys’). As a name change of this caliber would typically be quite newsworthy and with so much buzz surrounding fake news, the concept would be to strategically place our video in premium native news placements,” says Emily Furtado, Digital Media Manager for Media Experts, WestJet’s agency of choice.
The campaign raked in a click through rate of nearly 10x that of programmatic display and boasted a lower than average cost per completed view for their 15 second video.
WestJet and Xpeto, the programmatic arm of WestJet's digital agency, considered April Fool’s 2017 another successful campaign in the books, and another epic prank that spread brand awareness & engagement far and wide.
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