J. Walter Thompson Gives Behind-The-Scenes Access to the Elves That Made This Year's Holiday Gifts

Just in time for the holidays, J. Walter Thompson connects users with the elves who made their gifts.

by Michela Galante , AdForum


Toronto, ON -­ December 10, 2015 -­-­ With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, the holiday shopping season is well underway. But if you think all those gifts were made in far-­away factories by regular people, think again.

Advertising agency J. Walter Thompson created a mobile website called ”Santa Had Help” (www.SantaHad.Help) just in time for the holidays, allowing gift givers, recipients or anyone else to meet the elves who made this year’s gifts.

The mobile site is designed for both Apple’s iOS platform and Android devices. Users simply scan the barcode on the gift by using the phone’s built in camera, and seconds later, one of the 150 unique videos will play that corresponds to the specific gift in hand. The videos feature various male and female elves at their workstations in Santa’s workshop in the North Pole.

“We wanted to create something both parents and kids could do together on Christmas morning once all the gifts have been opened,” says Brent Choi, Chief Creative Officer, J. Walter Thompson New York and Canada. “The holidays are a kind of magical time of year so we wanted to create a little magic of our own with this experience – it’s like a gift with every gift.”

The videos are tongue-­in-­cheek in nature and cover a range of gifts, from the expected toys, clothes and baked goods, to electronics, beer, gift cards and even cars and lingerie. Once the 20-­ 30 second videos are viewed they’re easily shared via Twitter or Facebook.

“We had teams of writers crafting hundreds of scripts for this project,” says Ari Elkouby, VP Creative Director, J. Walter Thompson Canada. “When you’re writing scripts that have to appeal to both kids and adults we took a page out of Pixar’s humour playbook."

The mobile experience has an accompanying instructional video on the desktop version of the site at www.SantaHad.Help.com. 


J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, the world’s best-­known marketing communications brand, has been making pioneering solutions that build enduring brands and business for more than 150 years. Headquartered in New York, J. Walter Thompson is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. The agency consistently ranks among the top networks in the world and continues a dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge—from hiring the industry's first female copywriter to developing award-­winning branded content today. For more information, please visit www.jwt.com and follow us @JWT_Worldwide. 

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