Advertising is where you find it
I'm currently sitting at gate A4 in departures, waiting for a delayed flight from Vancouver to Ottawa. This week was my first experience with Westjet, and I have to say that after these flights, I don't know that I'd fly with anyone else.
Okay, so it's not advertising in the traditional sense. But, it is creating the conditions for something that people like to call "word of mouth advertising," which may or may not be a complete misnomer.
Imagine if this became part of your marketing strategy:
Be nice to your customers.
This doesn't mean wishing all of them a lovely day, or thanking them for calling Bell, or any prescripted crap that just keeps me in the store, on the phone, or otherwise away from the million things I have to do that much longer. I mean REALLY BEING NICE. It's enough to blow your mind, isn't it?
Everyone I've spoken to at Westjet has been nice. Helpful, genuine and nice. They haven't tried to upsell me on anything, but they were sure to let me know that if I checked in online, I could save time in line at the airport. The flight crew tells corny jokes, and heckles the passengers when they undo their seatbelts before the light goes off. It's casual, and helps to put you at ease. And if there's anywhere you want to be put at east, it's at 40,000 feet above sea level.
Off-topic, I know. If it helps, there is an ad that is displayed just as you get off the plane that says "I dare you to yell "I Love Westjet"" Not only that, it creates something that doesn't happen with Air Canada... people want to talk about what a great experience they've had. Everyone I've talked to before the flight and since, and me talking to you now.
I'd say that is worth far more than the price of a billboard.