West Jet strikes viral gold with some good old fashioned Christmas magic

The team behind the Viral Video Chart examine the latest trending videos and look at what it takes to become a web smash.

Video data compiled by the VAN team.

Top trending viral ad campaigns:

Airport travel can be a pain in the ass at the best of times, but the winter holiday season is notorious for over crowded terminals, delayed flights and weather related cancelations. Well this year, West Jet set out to put the festive fun back into flying for one lucky bunch of travellers!

In a feel-good PR stunt, the Canadian airline set up a virtual Christmas Grotto at a Toronto airport. Passengers young and old who were due to board the next West Jet flight were filmed chatting with a digital Santa and explaining what they wanted for Christmas this year. Little did they know that at the airline’s home town in Calgary, where the flight was due to land just hours later, a team of elves were busily running around department stores, buying gifts to make their wishes come true.

As weary passengers approached the baggage terminal to collect their luggage they were met with an awesome festive surprise… The carousel had been transformed into a magical winter wonderland and spilling onto the conveyor belt was a pile of personalised gifts with their names on. Presents ranged from computer tablets, to smart phones and a 50 inch flat screen TV. You have to feel kind of sorry for the one rather disappointed guy who just asked for some new socks and pants though - #Doh!

The heartwarming video shot straight to the top of the viral chart this week, with nearly 7 million views in just 3 days.

Continuing the airline theme, at number 2 in the chart with an impressive view count of nearly 98 million in just one week, is the latest ad for Turkish Airlines. The spot features football superstar, Lionel Messi, taking on Basketball legend, Kobe Bryant, in another battle of one-upmanship – this time the pair are going head-to-head in a competition to take the ultimate ‘selfie’ photo.The video follows up from the success of last year’s Legends on Board, which became the second most viewed viral ad of 2012. Interestingly, it’s worth noting that the video never made it into the top 10 most shared branded ads last year though. The same pattern can be seen with The Selfie Shoot – despite clocking up nearly 100 million views, the share to view ratio for the video is a mere 1:506. Way below that of the West Jet Airlines ad, which got 1:25, indicating that Turkish Air has probably put quite a significant media spend behind the view count of this video.

Elsewhere in the listings, it’s been a strong week for charity campaigns: In honour of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Pro Infirmis has released a moving video documenting a campaign to create a series of shop front mannequins based on the dimensions of a group of people with a range of physical impairments, (from spine malformations to missing limbs), demonstrating that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes; The Mimi Foundation has unveiled a heartwarming project to allow cancer patients to forget their illness and feel carefree for a brief moment; and Amnesty International has released an emotional tribute to human rights legend, Nelson Mandela.There’s also a little gem from a Dutch cat litter brand that’s definitely worth a watch – You’ve heard of The Pussy Cat Dolls right? Well, meet The Poopy Cat Dolls. Not quite sure how to explain this one, just watch it! If you want my purr purr, better pet my fur fur…

Top trending UGC and entertainment videos:

Top of the most shared UGC videos this week, Martyn Ashton has released a sequel to his incredibly popular Road Bike Party video, featuring more high-octane stunts and adrenaline fuelled action and garnering nearly 1.5 million views since yesterday.

Also trending… Bohemian Rhapsody meets Star Wars in this epic pop culture geek fest, Benedict Cumberbatch reads the lyrics for R. Kelly's "Genius" in a bizarrely comical spot on the Jimmy Kimmel Show and Simon’s Cat is back with more mischievous antics in a cute Christmas themed cartoon.Squeak of the Week: If you haven’t put your Christmas baubles and tinsel up yet and you’re feeling in need of a little inspiration – watch this video of a tiny mouse decorating his tree! #MerryXmas

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