Santa Claus goes multichannel, selects digital AOR

It ain’t easy being Santa Claus. I don’t know who he pissed off to get that gig, but it had to have been someone really big. Not only does he have to keep straight who’s been naughty and who’s been nice among the estimated 526 million Christmas-celebrating kids under the age of 14, he has to deliver their gifts (or coal chunks) at a rate of about 6,100 little ones per second in just one night.

But that’s not the worst of it for old St. Nick. Entering through the chimney like a common criminal? For all his generosity, you would think folks would at least be nice enough to leave their doors unlocked and not make him get his outfit all sooty. And listen, people: The dude has been doing this since the turn of the 19th century — do you think he might be sick of cookies by now?

From what I understand, he doesn’t even have a 401(k) or any kind of real retirement plan. No wonder he eats so much; I’d be depressed too. Is the red nose really a sign of his jolly demeanor, or an indicator of unchecked alcohol abuse?

But unlike my dad, who has staunchly refused to pay his bills online since the invention of the Internet by our former vice president, it seems Santa is getting hip to the idea that technology may make this time of year go a little easier.

To this end, Santa Claus has tapped digital marketing Critical Mass to be his digital agency of record and is taking a more multichannel approach to the proper allocation of holiday cheer this year. The relationship will involve product development, e-commerce, social media, email, mobile and content development, according to the agency.

“Digital is the new Rudolph,” said Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins. “Technology can help Santa deepen relationships with this savvy and demanding demographic in ways we haven’t seen since that famous nose glowed.”

Demanding is right. The embattled U.S. Postal Service is working hard to route at least a million letters to the North Pole in time for Christmas, even as it faces financial insolvency and the looming specter of potential facilities closures. That’s a lot of reading for Santa to do, and requests for the impossible (A real life Justin Bieber?) are mixed with death threats. This is one guy who never seems to get a break.

But Santa’s multichannel approach seems to already be helping with the holiday load, if one can judge by his new YouTube channel. In his latest video, he does seem to live up to his jolly reputation. Maybe he’s finally caught up on his email, which I imagine has greatly reduced the number of paper cuts for the old man this year. Holiday wishes can also be sent to Santa via his Facebook page. And yes, there’s also an app for that.

The next step, of course, is database and CRM. In the computer age, what’s with using paper for the naughty and nice list? If Santa’s smart, he’ll put responsibility for tracking that in the hands of a capable agency.

Santa was not immediately available for comment.     

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