Spotted! WestJet teases commuters with transit takeover

The airline's vacation-planning subsidiary launches a pre-Christmas push in Vancouver and Toronto to remind downtowners that the holidays don't have to be all about snowy sidewalks and visiting in-laws.

As commuters start dreaming of the holidays – and all the naps and hot toddies they’ll have – WestJet is hoping to tease their imaginations further with the ultimate Christmas gift: a tropical vacation.

MiC caught the transit takeover at Toronto’s Bay subway station yesterday and rang WestJet up to find out the details. As it turns out, it’s part of a last-minute media push in Toronto and Vancouver by the airline’s vacation sales arm to dazzle commuters with visions of white sandy beaches and pina coladas.

Following a fall campaign (which ended in November) to attract sun worshippers to such sunny climes as the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Barbados and Jamaica, a number of large-format OOH signage and digital video boards have been installed in a selection of Vancouver and Toronto subway stations to capitalize on holiday traffic.

‘This is an over-and-above addition to our campaign,’ Debbie Hoover, group account director at WestJet media AOR Media Experts’ Toronto office, tells MiC. ‘It’s such a busy time of year that more people are in the subways than the regular work crowd. There are a lot of shoppers as well.’

Rolled out on Dec. 14 and aimed at the 25-to-54 vacationer crowd, Hoover estimates the campaign – with Taxi providing the creative – will register seven million impressions in Toronto and approximately three million in Vancouver.

In addition, static digital boards along the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto drive viewers to ‘We really wanted to make a bigger impression and have more impact through the dominations.’

Although WestJet managed to grab so much subway space with its late November booking, Hoover revealed that Media Experts were unable to secure the Bloor-Yonge and Union Station subway stations due to ‘robust’ OOH sales.

Hoover expects the campaign will continue through the end of January.