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Cassies 2006

Westjet “Owners” Campaign

Silver – Events, Seasonal & Short Term

Bronze – Best Insight




WestJet was expanding to Central and Eastern Canada, and had to radically change misperceptions in its image.   A campaign started in September 05, with excellent initial results.


Situation Analysis:


When WestJet debuted in 1996, it had three aircraft and five destinations.   Today, it is larger than Canadian Airlines was, domestically, when Air Canada took them over.   But travelers in Central and Eastern Canada still thought WestJet must be a no-frills, bring-your-own lunch kind of experience.   This, despite the fact that WestJetters want to do everything for customers – for example helping them with their luggage (not allowed on Air Canada because of union rules), or driving them home from the airport if their ride doesn’t show up.


Strategy & Insight:


It was clear that the campaign should centre on the extraordinary WestJet level of service.   But we live in a world of overpromise, so would such a campaign ring true?   Then came the insight.   To keep staff motivated (and stave off unions) WestJet has a unique culture.   It includes a share purchase plan that makes 86% of employees shareholders.   In other words, WestJet people care so much because they aren’t just employees, they are owners.  




TV, print, radio and out-of-home all showed this commitment, along with the quirky humour that typifies the company.   And it was all anchored by the line, “Why do Westjetters cares so much?   Because we’re also WestJet owners.”




Every performance measure was up – Awareness, Brand Perception, New Users, and Share of Domestic Travellers.   [Information was provided.]   In addition, WestJet calculated the incremental top-line revenue at $115 million.


Cause & Effect:


A research study was commissioned specifically for the campaign, and it showed the dramatic image shifts.   In addition, the business increases coincided with the media flighting.   




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