What an elevator pitch is ? The example of WestJet Company

An elevator pitch is an oral communication exercice come from the USA. The principle is to convince in 30 secondes to 2 minutes maximum, time to move from the ground floor to the floor where bosses take the decisions. I tried and presented an elevator pitch in two voices and 3 minutes :

“Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m Amélie. Have you noticed that, today, taking the plane has become as common as taking the train or the bus? That’s so true, you just wait, wait and then you get on the plane… and wait again. It can be quite boring. So, how can an airline company make the journey more exciting? That was the challenge of West Jet, a Canadian low-cost company which came up last year with a brilliant idea of an advertising campaign that we are very happy to share with you.

What did the campaign consist of? The strategy had two lines of action: 1. create a powerful video ; 2. post it on line and conduct a pro-active communication plan through social networks. The aim was to create something spectacular, original and interactive. With the help of volunteers, 3 airports in Canada and Santa himself made a Christmas miracle happen for 250 passengers on two Calgary-bound flights.

Here is the story : before boarding on the plane, the company put in place a big screen on which passengers could interact with “Virtual Santa Claus” who asked every adult and child the one gift they wanted for Christmas. However, what people ignored is that the company actually compiled shopping lists and 150 volunteers purchased, wrapped and personalized gifts for all passengers in merely 4 hours, which was the length of the flight.
And guess what? While people were waiting for their suitcases in Calgary, gifts appeared instead, on the carrousel, creating an enormous surprise for families who were over-whelmed with tears and emotions.

Was it a good campaign? Well, the video went viral. It became immediately a world-wide success. On the 2nd day only, it was already hit with over 1 million views. Today, the video has exceeded 36 million views on Youtube, which makes it one of the most watched viral ads of 2013. It has been also featured on media like the Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, CNN and many others. The company grew brand awareness globally, with 235 countries having viewed the video. The campaign also raised an internal awareness. It became a source of pride. Employees shared the experience with guests, stake-holders and their personal networks.

So Sarah, how can we measure the success of the video? Well, it created an emotional bond between the clients and the company, which, according to professionals, is one of the strongest ways to help build up a solid brand. So you mean : now it is very likely that most people will think of this company first when they consider flying in Canada? Exactly!

Now, we strongly recommend you to stay seated, fasen your seat belt, and watch the Christmas Miracle with your own eyes. Thank you for your attention and have a nice journey!”

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