Cannes Lions

Macy's Believe: Wish Writer

J. WALTER THOMPSON, New York / MACY'S / 2016

Case Film
Demo Film






Macy’s Wish Writer is a light-up stylus and app experience where kids can write their most magical letter to Santa and play a series of games/experiences that are fun, creative, and teach generosity. The Wish Writer was sold in Macy’s across the US.

Write and send a letter to Santa with magical animated inks. Play games that are addictively fun, open ended, and creative. Completing each game adds Christmas spirit to a section of the wintery WishWriter town. There’s an activity book and augmented reality tools. Parents can save and share their children's creations.

To launch Wish Writer, we created a 3 minute film which featured a magic pen that only works when its user wishes for others. We follow the journey of a little girl from doubter to believer, as she realizes its power of her pen and the happiness that comes from making wishes come true.



• Wish Writer Stylus/app sold in Macy’s, nationwide

-Custom designed packaging, in-store display

• The companion App available for Apple and Android

-Stylus activates through app via augmented reality.

-Each activity designed to utilize the stylus, ergonomically designed for children’s


-Games thematically tied to activities within our wintery "Wish Writer" town;

completion lights up a neighborhood.

-Games designed to encourage replay with escalating difficulty for older kid appeal

-Multiple players

-Creations savable with parents enabled post/sharing.

•Wish Writer brand film support primarily digital, after teaser/film launch on Macy’s

Thanksgiving Day Parade. Online digital video used 3 minute to :15 film lengths.

-Creative testing conducted to determine unit optimal length per platform


-November 22 - December 24, 2015


-100,000 Wish Writers for sale in Macy’s nationwide.

-Teaser broadcast and :90 launch - Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

-3 Minute plus additional lengths: YouTube, Facebook and Instagram

-Inclusion in Macy’s holiday promotional materials and owned media, in-store display


Consumer Value:

• A digital holiday tradition that’s fun for kids to learn generosity and “Believe”.

Macy’s Value:

• Wish Writer is the real-life manifestation of Macy’s holiday campaign promoting the

importance of generosity and kindness to others during the holiday season.

• Achieved goal: re-inventing Santa letter writing

• Aided in growing letters mailed at Macy’s 35% to 2,700,000

Reach/product impact:

•3x goal achieved on video views across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram

•Total views: 33MM

•200MM media impressions

•Average time playing app: 17 minutes per session

•App completion rate: 85%

Business impact:

•100,000 Wish Writers manufactured 2015

- Additional production would be lower unit price

•82% lift in Google organic search as result of viewing campaign video; best in class among retailers

• +16.3% brand favorability, +57.4% brand interest; Youtube

• +6 points in brand favorability; Instagram

Similar Campaigns

12 items

1 Cannes Lions Award
Space Station


Space Station

2019, MACY'S

(opens in a new tab)