Austin-based engagement agency Drumroll has created a custom, interactive live video feed showcasing Santa living his best life – reading the newspaper, playing with a VR headset, hoola hooping, and taking selfies. Viewers can interrupt Santa’s good time by sending him cookies that’ll give him extra energy for his Christmas Eve sleigh ride.
Once a viewer submits a card with their name, they’ll see cookies and milk appear in the video feed in real time, and when Santa looks at the cookies it will cut to an overhead shot, showing a personalized note “From [your name]”. Santa will then eat the cookies and go back to lounging in his chair, dancing around the room, and being his eccentric self – just as Santa does.
The never-ending feed is meant to be a festive way for clients and their families to come together and celebrate the holidays with Drumroll.
DIVERGE spoke to Drumroll to find out more:
Where did the idea come from?
Each year we try to do something fun and creative to celebrate the holiday season. While many holiday experiences are consumptive, we wanted ours to be interactive. We also wanted to stay true to the season by finding a tradition people already participate in; hence, giving Santa cookies. Then, it was just a matter of making that experience enjoyable enough to continue watching and sending cookies for hours.
Who was the team behind this idea?
Like most internal agency projects, the project team was made up of a great number of people. The only way to turn an undertaking like this around so quickly is with many contributors. To list them all out would probably break the internet and to leave anyone out would be a crime. Let’s just say that the team behind the idea was Drumroll.
Is it targeted towards kids?
Not necessarily. We wanted to make the experience enjoyable to all ages. There are definitely moments in the skits that kids might not get. That said, we also wanted to keep it kid friendly, since many of us wanted to be able to share it with our kids. We’ve received some really nice notes from viewers talking about how excited their kids were to see Santa and send him a cookie – which is exactly what we were going for.
Why is Santa crying while eating cookies?
One of the big goals of the experience was to make things randomized and varied enough that people will want to stay engaged. If each time you send him a cookie he’s happy and says the same thing and takes the same action, it will feel redundant quickly. To avoid this, we tried to think of all the actions and emotions Santa might go through this time of year. In the clip you’re referring to, Santa has received so many cookies from viewers he’s actually so full that he struggles to eat the last cookie.
Why is this project significant?
When we think about what makes a project significant or great we strive to make an experience that:
1) is additive to something the user already doing, rather than getting in the way
2) is unique enough in concept and execution that it gives the user a feeling of discovery
3) isn’t so self-serving that it loses the essence of what it set out to be
4) is simple enough for a kid to use it and cool enough for an adult to enjoy it.
We believe The Santa Feed achieves all of those things, which is one of the reasons why we decided to make it in the first place.
What kind of feedback have you received from it?
Very positive. You know you’re on to something when you see hear from someone right after they check it out and then get a follow up email an hour later saying they’re still obsessing over it. Fortunately, that sentiment continues to be a thread with each new piece of feedback we receive.
He says Merry Christmas in several different languages, why was it important for your agency to be inclusive?
We think it’s extremely important. Our agency motto is “We Build Brand Love,” which ultimately means we strive to make every touchpoint and experience outstanding, regardless of who you are. Every day we help our clients identify moments of opportunity along the customer journey. For this project we set out to do the same thing for everyone who discovers our site. We will admit that we don’t personally know any Klingons or Dothrakians, but if they do visit our site, they will also have a great experience.
- We did everything in-house on this project. Two weeks ago we came up with the idea and two weeks later we’ve concepted, filmed, produced and built the fully-functioning site.
- Fun Fact: There are many Easter eggs scattered throughout the videos (including a final scene you can only get to if you watch all of the clips in a row).
- One of the other things we are proud of on this site is the ability to share your delivery moment in social with friends. Creating a cool experience is one thing, but finding a fun way to allow a user to share that exact same experience is pretty badass.
Fun side note: Let us know how many easter eggs you found!