Why do some videos go viral? As Travel and Tourism marketing pros we talk about how to create something that impact our social footprint and disrupt the landscape of our industry.
In the case of the recent WestJet Christmas Miracle video that has received nearly 24 million views in 6 days I believe it was the perfect mix of a number of things.
#1 – Interactive
Right from the start passengers needed to get up from their seats in the gatehouse and interact with Santa. First by scanning their boarding pass and then chatting with him personally. This interaction was captured not only in the gatehouse but upon arrival as well.
Tourism Takeaway: when planning your next marketing campaign or event how can you encourage visitors to stretch their comfort zones and diversify their activities in your region?
Travel Consultants and Consortia/Hosts: how can you implement an interactive component into travel planning? Consider ways to preview an incentive trip or a destination wedding.
#2 – Game-like
When passengers needed to step onto the special mat to talk to Santa it inspired the start of a fun game and took people to a different space than their seat in the gatehouse.
Hospitality Takeaway: what will inspire guests to have a WOW moment of truth in your hotel or restaurant?
#3 – Real time
Not only were the gift requests real, but the video showed real WestJetters dashing out to purchase gifts, wrapping them and sending them thru the baggage carousel.
Travel Takeaway: next time you’re showcasing your hotel, destination, resort, restaurant or attraction to the trade, media or prospective clients what can you show them in real time that will set you apart from the competition? Can they participate in a cooking demonstration, cocktail mixology class or become part of your team in some way?
#4 – Non-Salesy
While we all know the video was produced by WestJet, we aren’t bombarded with obvious corporate logos and messaging. The subliminal effect brings out the best in the corporate culture while keeping the emotional impact at the forefront.
Tourism Takeaway: how can you depict the true culture of your destination? How can you give visitors a glimpse into real lives of people in your area?
#5 – Imaginative
Think about the creativity, planning and employee engagement that potentially has a far greater reach than the video itself.
Hospitality & Tourism takeaway: how can your team be enlarged when planning the marketing tactics for your next event? Who else can you bring to the table? What else can impact and stretch the imagination of your potential guests? How can you garner unique user generated content?
Travel Consultants: how can you surprise and delight your clients pre and post travel? Consider what suppliers you can work with to enhance their in-destination experience.
#6 – Behind the scenes secret glimpses
Almost as secretive as Santa himself, the opportunity for people to get a glimpse into the inner workings of a company or project is alluring. If you’ve not viewed the Bloopers video, you may want to have a look at what can be accomplished with video clips and out takes.
Tourism, Hospitality and Travel takeaway: This is your chance to shine by providing visitors, trade and potential clients the ‘back of the house’ tour. Let them in on the scenes in the kitchen as your staff prepares for a banquet. Show them the creativity that goes into decorating for the holidays or an upcoming event. Imagine the impact of showing the staff having unabashed fun while working on the next big project.
#7 – Not Free, But Priceless
While a budget needs to be in place for remarkable, imaginative and powerful the end result will be priceless!
Recently Gary Vaynerchuk published a book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook How to tell your story in a noisy social world” My key takeaway from the book is to ask our clients ‘what can I do for you?’ and I believe that WestJet has done just that.
Travel, Tourism and Hospitality takeaway: comment cards, visitor responses within the confines of on-line rating services are standard ways of asking “What else can we do for you?” How can you get even more creative with your method of asking and your response to the ask?
As travel, tourism and hospitality pros how can we take these concepts and incorporate them into our social presence and corporate culture? How will you apply the principles of virality into your tourism or hospitality delivery?
What else can I do to provide social media opportunities and solutions to our industry? How can I be a more effective resource for you?