Santa ClausWith the arrival of winter holidays, Liberty Center, a small shopping center located in southern Bucharest, needed a season campaign that distinguished it from strong competition and positioned it as the ideal place for shopping and leisure in Bucharest.

The objective was to increase awareness of the shopping center and position it as a “community mall”, a true social must-go for the residents of the area.

Proximity community analysis had found that our target audience was mostly families or individuals close to their family, who had respect for Romanian traditions. The findings were strongly related to childhood, either because the majority of these people had children, or because the memories of their childhood holidays were some of the best they had. “Winter holidays were so great when I was young and I really believed in Santa Claus” was the clue from which we set out to plan the campaign.

Our strategy aimed to create a strong emotional connection within the target group, creating opportunities for them to gather around a cause that had been so dear to them in their childhood (that Santa Claus indeed exists), a cause brought to life by Liberty Center.

The campaign was launched by the presentation of a study revealing that 55.7% of Romanian adults believe in Santa Claus and expect gifts from him, a surprising piece of news that attracted media attention.

We invited the children with their parents to the Liberty Center, together with their brothers, sisters, and grandparents, to write a long, collective letter to Santa Claus. We sent news channels the most unconventional and exciting Christmas wishes and stories, exactly as they had been written. We also sent bloggers personalized gifts from Santa. Titles such as “Santa Claus exists” and “These are the strangest Christmas wishes of Romanians” have quickly popped out all over, including on international channels.

The campaign resulted in a record number of visitors to Liberty Center. They collected over 2,000 messages to Santa Claus in a collective letter 160 meters long. In just two weeks, we recorded 16 TV news and live broadcasts from Liberty Center, six radio news segments, five stories in print and 130 online articles. Also, over 17 big international publications including The Washington Post and The Guardian reported on the letter that Romanians of all ages were writing to Santa, as a heartwarming story about hope in Eastern Europe.