Santa and his elves work year-round making sure all the good girls and boys get the Christmas gifts they desire. Lands’ End is embracing that spirit of Old Saint Nick, giving shoppers the opportunity to become Santa for a day for the company’s feel-good holiday 2016 campaign.
“We’ve always embraced the spirit of giving,” explains Becky Gebhardt, chief marketing officer of Lands’ End. “We love the holiday time frame and, ultimately, we wanted to find some way to connect around that with our customers.”
Lands’ End has featured Santa in campaigns throughout its 50-plus year history (e.g., on catalog covers), and that history inspired this year's Santa for a Day campaign. Another was the rotary phone, which is a huge element of Santa for a Day.
“We started seeing this imagery and we kind of got excited about it because we really thought this is and we are the hotline to Santa,” says Gebhardt. “We have, at Lands’ End, amazing customer service. We love to talk to customers, especially around this time.”
Using a rotary phone at events around the country — and with some help from Lands’ End's customer service team — families can be connected right to Santa in the North Pole.
Lands’ End's holiday 2016 campaign features a multichannel approach to increase engagement with shoppers.
Lands’ End, in partnership with iHeart Radio, created events in Chicago and New York City throughout November and December. Attendees in each city will be invited to call the Santa hotline on a rotary phone in an iconic red phone booth, and speak with the Lands’ End Santa HR department for a Santa for a Day interview.
Participants are asked questions like, "What's your favorite cookie?" or "What do you and Santa have in common?" One winner from each event is selected and awarded a package worth $5,000 to help him or her become Santa for a day.
“The holidays, really, are such a magical time,” Gebhardt says. “The phone booth in Chicago energized people. It was exciting to see something like that; they wanted to participate.“
Gebhardt explains that Lands’ End always has human customer service representatives available 24/7 for shoppers. The Santa for a Day campaign, Gebhardt says, got employees excited to engage with consumers as the Santa HR department.
“It has connected internally," notes Gebhardt. "Our call center completely embraced this. It’s doing exactly what we wanted. We’re seeing excitement come back. We found our customers are excited to talk to us.”
Lands’ End is also adding a big social media push to the Santa for a Day campaign.
Aspiring gift givers can participate daily using the hashtag #santaforaday on Twitter from Nov. 17 to Dec. 20. Each day, a unique Santa interview question will be asked by @LandsEnd and participants can answer using #santaforaday and #LandsEndHoliday to be entered for a chance to win a $100 Lands’ End gift card.
— LandsEnd (@LandsEnd) December 6, 2016
“[We] are searching for individuals that embody the heart of Santa with chances to give back to family and friends this holiday season in meaningful ways,” says Gebhardt.
To bring things full circle, Gebhardt says the latest Lands’ End catalog features the rotary phone on its cover, and there's a video element with potential Santa candidates from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County, Wisconsin.
“That’s what happens when you start to embody that magic of Christmas — it really becomes more about helping everyone else rather than just thinking about yourself," says Gebhardt.