WestJet's 'Christmas Miracle' viral video shows giving is the best advertising

Sometimes the gift of giving truly is the greatest gift of all. That's the case for airline WestJet, that put together a feel-good Christmas-themed video which ended up earning them more than 27 million views on YouTube.

In the now-viral video, titled "Christmas Miracle," the folks at WestJet placed life-sized screens featuring Santa Claus in Toronto Pearson International Airport and John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport to ask those flying on the airline from what they want for Christmas. Responses ranged from socks and underwear to a train set to a big-screen TV. Little did the passengers know that they would actually be receiving their requests.

In the time between the flights taking off and landing, some 150 WestJet employees hustled to stores like Best Buy to purchase the gifts, wrapped them and then cleared them through airport security. They then prepared hot chocolate at baggage claim as the 250 passengers waited for their luggage to arrive.

As wrapped and labeled gifts headed down the baggage claim shoot instead of suitcases, responses from the passengers ranged from laughter to "No way!" to tears. And though items like the flat screen TV seem expensive, WestJet vice president of communications Richard Bartrem tells Forbes that making this video was actually surprisingly cheap.

"For a traditional commercial, you could spend well into the mid-six figures for the production alone," he says, adding that this commercial cost "a mere fraction" of that. Sometimes the gift of good will can be the best one of all.

Photo/Video credit: WestJet