Most of us lead lives that are predictable. Not that predictability is bad. We like knowing that the newspaper will be waiting for us on the front porch every morning. We like knowing that our paycheck will be deposited in our checking account every two weeks. Clearly, predictability has its place.
The downside of predictability is sameness and, potentially, blandness. When you know what to expect every day of every week of every month of every year, our lives tend toward the mundane. That said, what we need every so often is something a little unexpected. A little spiritual goosing—as it were—just to let us know that we’re alive.
One of the most dramatic examples of upending everyday predictability happened last Christmas Eve in Canada. WestJet Airlines set up a kiosk in terminals at two airports—Toronto and Hamilton—where passengers who were en route to Calgary could scan their boarding pass and then talk to a virtual Santa Claus. Since the boarding passes were scanned, Santa knew everyone’s name and was able to ask what they wanted for Christmas (both children and adults). And with the help of a hidden camera, he could see everyone as well.
A long list was compiled and after the passengers were on their flights, a team of 150 WestJet employees in Calgary embarked on a massive shopping spree. They raced off to stores and bought the gifts the passengers had mentioned. The team wrapped each one and got them all to Calgary Airport before the flights from Toronto and Hamilton landed. As the passengers waited at baggage claim, what they saw on the carousels was, at first, hard to comprehend.
There were presents. Hundreds of presents. And on each present, there was a tag with each of the passengers’ name on it. Don’t believe it? Check out this video.
If WestJet had merely handed passengers a holiday card or a candy cane as they boarded their flight on Christmas Eve that would have been nice. Pleasant. Predictable. It would not have really registered as anything more than that. It would not have been an experience that these folks will clearly remember for the rest of their lives.
We related to this amazing scenario because that’s what we at Eaglevision pride ourselves on doing. We create experiences that will touch people. That will stay with them. That will inspire them. As opposed to creating traditional productions that are disposable. Forgettable. Predictable.