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It may only be October and we may have only just been reunited with our winter woollies for another year, but the countdown is well and truly on for the festive season – for brands (and Santa), at least.

This year, the big man himself has decided to broaden his business opportunities and join professional social (or ‘snow-cial’, as the Daily Mirror likes to call it) network, LinkedIn, in a bid to recruit some top copywriters. It’s an extension of his long-standing partnership with the NSPCC, in which youngsters can request a personalised message from Father Christmas for a donation to the charity, as part of the ‘Letters to Santa’ campaign.

Calling himself the ‘managing director of Christmas’ and listing mince pies among his interests, Santa needs helpers to assist with letter-writing duties. His foray into the digital age certainly paid off, as the stunt has picked up coverage in the Daily Mirror and is likely to have pushed the charity’s cause to the forefront of people’s minds in time for the Christmas rush.

Standing out in the saturated Christmas market is never easy. Whether it’s product placement in a gift guide, or an over-the-top PR stunt in the middle of a busy high street, brands have to continually shake things up and figure out how they can go one better than their rivals. While the NSPCC’s association with Santa has been going strong for the last 16 years, the charity has still managed to come up with a new way of capitalising on the festive season.

Charities could face a predicament as they battle for a share of voice in the run-up to Christmas – do they tug on the heart strings for maximum effect? Or, do they create a funny, endearing campaign to make their audiences chuckle? It seems that by setting up a LinkedIn profile for Santa – complete with place of education (North Pole University, in case you were wondering) – the NSPCC has managed to strike the perfect balance and may have set the standard for similar causes.


@StephCureton @peppertweets