I’m very interested in how new technology can combine with creative marketing ideas and produce something truly wonderful that captures the viewers attention.

This example from US airline WestJet is an excellent example of that combination of technology and creativity. A live video feed from the destination airport (or studio) delivered to a flat screen T.V at the departure lounge so that Santa can talk to the passengers, a couple of people listening to take notes and a small army of shoppers to finish off the stunt – a very simple idea, beautifully executed by WestJet.

The cost of producing a stunt like this for WestJet would have been beyond the reach of most small businesses but there are ideas here that can be replicated fairly cheaply. Camera equipment isn’t expensive any more, large flat screen T.Vs are everywhere and imagination is free.

How about doing something with your staff? Get someone to dress up as Santa in one room, have a live feed to a screen in another (dressed up to look like a grotto) and get your staff to bring their children in for a Christmas party with Santa live from Lapland talking direct to the room. Pre-warn the parents and ask them to provide ideas for gifts and have Santa appear at the end of the party to deliver the gifts for an extra special surprise.  On a smaller scale, how about organising a series of skype calls to clients children so they can speak direct to Santa?

The point is, it’s just an internet connection, a webcam or camera one end and a screen at the other to display, probably a mic and speakers both ends but none of that is expensive these days or hard to organise. After that its just your imagination that’s required.

And the value of pulling off a stunt like this for WesJet? Watch the next video to see why they did it. over 19 million views on their original video alone is enough to convince me of the value.