Cannes Lions


CARAT, New York / MACY'S / 2017

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Case Film
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The story of Santa has played out for generations in books, songs, film, and TV. But belief in Santa Claus is dwindling in the generation of the internet – a quick online search will tell any user that Santa Claus is not “real.”

As America’s leading holiday department store, Macy’s needed to re-ignite American’s belief in Santa in order to bring back the magic of the holiday season.

To reach more Americans everywhere and compel them to stand in solidarity with Macy’s, we created #SantaProject, a digital rallying cry for the believers amongst us to show off their holiday spirit and belief in Santa. The goal of #SantaProject was to collect expressions of belief from all across the country – pictures, tweets, videos and simple texts – that could drown out the online skeptics and celebrate Santa all across the internet.


We invigorated the magic of Belief and created an online movement leveraging paid, owned, and earned media. We launched videos on YouTube and during the live broadcast of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade we asked, “Do you believe in Santa Claus?” Subsequently, we rolled out a premium television schedule. Santa Project videos ran on Roku channels targeted at parents, and in native articles on family websites distributed through Nativo. We utilized innovative ad formats on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to extend reach and drive engagement.

We partnered with WhoSay and YouTube to identify mommy influencers. Then created custom content on our behalf and mobilized their own audiences to submit their own content and participate in the campaign. Pandora was also used to target mothers with the video, gifting them an ad free hour of music for watching the video.

Finally, we aggregated all user generated content on to Macy’s social channels.


#SantaProject successfully spread the magic of the holidays digitally and over delivered on its impression goal by 33%.

• Viewers aged 25-34 were the most engaged, averaging a view through rate (VTR) of 35%

• #SantaProject beat YouTube VTR benchmark every week of the campaign

• 1:10 average view duration of the 2-minute research film

• Socially amplified user generated content delivered 15.7MM views of Santa Project-related content, with a view rate of 23%

• Facebook drove view rates of 23-29%

• Macy’s saw a 5.3% positive search lift on Google

• On mobile devices, Macy’s saw: 7.2% search lift, 6.9% brand ad recall lift, 10.5% lift in favorability, family-focused affinity targeting a 24% view rate

• Pandora engagement rate of 3.8% (average is 2.5%), with an average of 42 minutes spent listening (average is 34 minutes)

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