Event TV: Westjet's desert light show stunt

Canadian airline Westjet created a light show stunt in the desert for passengers to mark its 21st anniversary this month.

Westjet's flight attendant informs passengers about the experience
Westjet's flight attendant informs passengers about the experience

Westjet passengers were greeted by show girls as they boarded the aircraft at Toronto Pearson International Airport, which was bound for Las Vegas. En route, a flight attendant announced that there would be a surprise and told passengers to look out of their windows on the left-hand side of the plane. From 12,000 feet, passengers witnessed a giant spinning prize wheel, lit up with LED lights, in Utah’s desert. The wheel, which measured 1km in diameter, flipped through a series of seat numbers over 20 seconds before ending with the seat number ‘4A’, which meant that the passenger in seat 4A was awarded with a VIP Las Vegas package.

The prize included a $2,500 shopping spree, two round-trip flights from Westjet and tickets to several attractions and entertainment in the city. Other passengers were given discounted tickets to Cirque du Soleil, complementary cocktails from STK at The Cosmopolitan, and $25 gift cards for the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood.

The #WestJetVegasSurprise stunt, which took a week to construct, also broke two Guinness World Records: the greatest light output in a projected image and largest circular projection. 

Rob Daintree, director of marketing communications for Westjet, said: "Westjet turned 21 this year and since 2005 we have flown more than 8.8million guests to Las Vegas, making us the international number one carrier into the city. So we thought we would surprise guests by doing something really big."

Westjet worked with Vancouver-based creative agency Rethink and Toronto-based Studio M to create the stunt.

As part of this campaign, Westjet will be running a series of surprises for customers until mid-July.

More: Check out this month's Brand Slam, which pitches the experiential marketing strategies of airline brands Easyjet and Air New Zealand against each other. This month Monarch brought a giant floral plane to London Victoria station, ahead of the Chelsea Flower Show.

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