Must-See Marketing of the Week: Europe’s Space Agency inspires

A sci-fi short aims to stoke interest in real-life space travel

A weekly digest of the most important stories and ideas in advertising and media, from our colleagues at Marketing

Other Items of note from Marketing:

WestJet created a viral hit last year with its video about making a wish list with all the passengers on a given flight and surprising them at their destination with their requested gifts. The airline is repeating the stunt this year, but with a global, altrusitic twist:

This year the brand brought the Christmas experience to Nuevo Renacer, Dominican Republic; one of its international destinations. In a five-minute video released online Sunday night, WestJet sets up a sleigh in the town and asks locals to submit their Christmas wishes, just as it did in Canadian airports last year. The gifts were then delivered at a party WestJet held on the beach.

“We wanted to do something that was more about needs than wants,” explained Greg Plata, WestJet’s team lead for sponsorship and experiential marketing He said people often poke fun at the man from the 2013 video who asked for socks, then saw another traveller receive a big screen TV. “We realized socks and underwear could be a magical gift for someone,” he said.

“For us, it was an opportunity to give back with a purpose and really try to make a difference in someone’s life, to bring that joy of the spirit of a Canadian or North American Christmas and try to share that with the world.”

Watch the video on Marketing’s website »

Kraft Foods is taking on Starbucks, with a series of ads mocking the complicated, frothy beverages of major chains (although never mentioning which one by name) and suggesting that its Nabob brand is the choice of discerning coffee-lovers who prefer substance over flash. That means, among other things, delivering Pumpkin-Spice Lattes to bewildered Colombian coffee farmers, who hate the taste and spit it out.

“More and more consumers are choosing brands that reflect who they are,” said Dana Somerville, director of coffee for Kraft Canada. “When a brand has meaning outside the brand, it can help create the deeper personal connection… the challenge is how do you develop that connection in a credible and authentic way.”

Retailers are experimenting with precise interior location-tracking equipment called Beacons to deliver highly targeted messages to people’s smartphones. Until now it’s mostly been hype without much hard data to support it, but Swirl, a Beacon service provider that is running pilot projects in Hudson’s Bay, among others, has released its first report giving some idea of Beacon usage and consumer sentiment. Essentially, the finding seems to be that if you can persuade shoppers to turn on the functionality in the first place, they’re open to it—but that first hurdle may be high.

Finally, Weight Watchers experimenting with some real talk about dieting and just how hard it is in a new campaign built around a rewritten version of the kids’ song “If you’re happy and you know it” — specifically, “If you’re happy and you know it, have a snack