If you haven't seen (and shed a tear over) WestJet's latest promotional video then you must live under a rock. This video immediately went viral upon it's release on December 8th; already reaching over 15 million less than a week later. It has gained WestJet media attention all over the world, which definitely qualifies as a PR win. The short ad features lucky passengers on a flight from Ontario to Calgary meeting with jolly ol' Saint Nick himself, who was, obviously, in a blue Santa suit. Can you say branding? After their quick meet and greet with Santa they went on their way. Little did they know that while they were in the air, 150 WestJet elves, err, employees, were diligently working on a Christmas miracle. Upon arriving in Calgary, they discovered all the gifts that they had asked Santa for, on the baggage wheel. You can imagine the emotions, excitement and enthusiasm that ensued. Check out the five and a half minutes of happiness for yourself and make sure to have the kleenex handy.
WestJet wasn't the only one who had busy elves working away this week. Instagram showed the world today that they too have been up to something, and that little something is called Instagram Direct. What is Instagram Direct? Think Snapchat, but well, for Instagram. It is a new component of the app that allows you to send videos and photos directly to friends, versus posting them on a public timeline. Instagram has a history of reacting quickly to any potential competitors. When Vine first started hitting its stride, Instagram responded immediately with their own version of video. When Snapchat really started gaining traction, the Instagram team when back at it and gave us Instagram Direct. Their incredibly quick turnover rate is unmatched and their constant updates are what allow them to maintain their edge and popularity. Why use 3 separate apps when you can do everything you want in one? Our (and Instagram's) thoughts exactly.
This one hits closer to home. It isn't so much of a PR win, but an overall life win. Local tech startup Shopify just announced today that they have raised $100 million in funding. Shopify started out as a few guys trying to sell snowboards, who quickly realized that the software they were making to sell said snowboards just may be more valuable. Shopify now has over 80, 000 online stores stretched across 100 different countries. They are proof that you don't have to sell out to Silicon Valley in order to be seriously successful. Shopify has stuck around in our nation's capital and is now not only a staple in the startup community, but in the entire Canadian community. They represent the ideal, yet elusive combination of an incomparable creative community culture married with on the mark business smarts. Kudos Shopify!