Guest Post by Shanan Sorochynski
Without the input of communicators and marketers far and wide I fear Christmas may be doomed. Let me explain …
The other night in a haze of nog and toddies I noticed that the table next to mine had elves – two of them. They were intense little creatures that smelt like cinnamon and cloves.
I watched as they spent the night furrowing their brows at the page on their table. They drank and wrote and pounded their wee little fists in frustration.
Did you know that when elves punch each other in the face glitter explodes into the air? It does. It also provides great cover for snapping photos with an iPhone.
Long story short, I photographed their comm. plan, a dismal thing that needs your input.
Christmas Communication Plan 2011
Prepared by senior communication elves: Peppermint Pete and Ernie Evergreen
For centuries Santa’s Workshop has been a leader in the secular celebrations industry as a result of successfully meeting the needs of its stakeholders – children.
However, recent data from the Workshop’s global Awe and Wonder meter shows there has been a steady decline in enthusiasm for the holidays. Children (particularly those tall enough to reach the cookie jar on their own or “jarrers”) have become bored with our brand. For them, Christmas has lost its “wow.”
Our analysis also revealed that in 2010 the movie “Inception” staring Leonardo DiCaprio surpassed jarrers’ enthusiasm for Christmas. By updating our model of exchanging toys for good behavior with one that exchanges a mind-bendingly awesome cerebral Christmas experience we hope to reintroduce that sense of wonder many of our stakeholders have lost.
We call it: Operation Sugar Plum Fairy.
Research and Analysis
The infallible Awe and Wonder meter was used to determine the scope of the problem and probability of our tactic’s success.
In Dec. 2010 it showed the following changes in jarrers from the year before:
- A 44% decrease in gift satisfaction. A 2009 gift that received a “meh” was more likely to receive an “eh” in 2010.
- A 25% increase in those asking Santa for money instead of gifts.
- A 40% increase in those who believed that the majority of their presents came from a store (as opposed to Santa’s Workshop).
- A 25% increase in the wearing of Christmas sweaters – though stakeholders claimed to only be wearing the sweaters “ironically.”
According to Box Office Mojo Inception has grossed more than $800 million worldwide. Many of those dollars came from jarrers.
Secondary: ankle bitters
The formal research showed that jarrers were dissatisfied with traditional forms of secular celebration and see gifts less as something special but as the completion of their order. Santa’s Workshop holds a monopoly on Christmas magic. By providing our stakeholder a high-quality customized Christmas experience that cannot be bought in stores – or provided anywhere else – we hope to reinvigorate the brand.
Goals and Objectives
Goal: Better support the organization’s commitment to spreading awe and wonder during the holidays.
Objective: To replace traditional gifts with a customizable cerebral experience so that we better meet our primary stakeholders’ awe and wonder needs. This would be measured by our ability to increase “wows” this year by 30%.
Instead of toys, Santa’s elves will design Christmas dream landscapes under the creative direction of
Peppermint Pete Ernie Evergreen Peppermint Pete Ernie Evergreen
As you can see their plan is a mess. What would you change to improve this? (Or are you sending your dream landscape specifications to Santa and his elves?)
Images: nickb_rock via Flickr, CC 2.0
Shanan Sorochynski manages the University of Regina’s first official blog: YOURblog. Previous to this she was the managing editor of U of R Report, the University’s faculty and staff internal publication, and a print journalist in Manitoba.
I know I’m way late on commenting here (but you know I was out!) – but I just love love LOVED this post!
You know, you could tweak this just a little and it would be the “plan” of so many organizations… that’s the frightening part!
True. I know one of my objectives this year is to increase “wows” by 30%. :)
@Shanan WOW! What’s your benchmark? :p
@EXPfarm Thanks for the RT. Have a fabulous day!
@stefsealy @leaderswest @sandrasays @justinthesouth @bdorman264 Thanks so much for sharing @Shanan_S post!
@SandraSays @shonali This failed attempt to steal the health of our people is being communicated perfectly to all of our people
@realjuliemallen Huh? @SandraSays
First of all…you are hilarious. Great post. First thing that came to my mind was this must be because of the economy or at least partially. The second thing that came to mind was Elf on a Shelf. My friend (who has two nieces) just discovered this “Elf on a Shelf” thing and was telling me about it. Funny enough, a day later Twitter suggested I follow Elf on a Shelf. Anyways the point here is, the story of Elf on a Shelf reminded me of the magical part of Christmas, especially for children. Sure we could blame the economy for this but when I was young we didn’t have much. What we did have was the creativity that my mother brought to Christmas that made it magical. Perhaps we need stop focusing on the money aspect of Christmas and take the time to bring back what’s really important and memorable for children, the magical aspect of Christmas. I think Elf on a Shelf is a good example of this (although I’ve heard the original Elf on a Shelf is a bit pricey, for an Elf ;) )
I think another struggle may be time. Creativity requires a lot it.
@Shanan Yes I can agree with that!