When the COVID-19 pandemic rewrote the rules of business and daily life, we at PRISM⁵⁵, together with Ministry Of Fun, saw an opportunity to rewrite the narrative.
The spark ignited during a conversation between our Founder, Harry East, and Matt Grist, the owner of Ministry Of Fun. From this discussion, Santa HQ was born—a digital platform designed to bring the joy and wonder of a visit to Santa’s grotto into living rooms across the globe.
A Journey from Idea to Implementation
Time was not on our side; it was already September. But if Santa could deliver presents all around the world in one night, we could certainly build an immersive digital experience in a matter of weeks. Employing an Agile framework, our development and design teams sprang into action, working closely with Ministry Of Fun’s pool of talented Santa actors. We set our sights on creating 24 interactive videos, complete with activities for children leading up to Christmas Day. The project escalated into a full-scale video production, replete with sets, scripts, and even actors dressed as elves. Coordinating the elves, the set changes, the script revisions—it was a wild ride that put even the most daring rollercoasters to shame.
The Marketing Marvel: Crafting a Brand from Scratch
When it came to the marketing strategy for Santa HQ, the task ahead was both exciting and daunting. After all, building a brand from scratch within a mere three months is not for the faint-hearted. But what we lacked in time, we made up for in ingenuity. Paid media and public relations were at the heart of our approach, each offering unique advantages to catapult our brand into the public consciousness.
From the onset, we approached the project through the lens of business analysis, setting a stringent Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) cap at £15. This number wasn’t plucked from thin air; it was a calculated decision aimed at ensuring the project’s profitability. In a venture where no historical data or comparable benchmarks existed, this CAC acted as our North Star.
Our advertising strategy was a masterclass in cross-platform, cross-media planning. The results were beyond impressive, generating over 1 million impressions with a click-through rate of over 5%. In a marketplace awash with established brands, these metrics for a fledgeling brand like Santa HQ were remarkable. Our multichannel blended CPA target was £15, and we hit an admirable £14.50, affirming the effectiveness of our blended strategy.
Media Coverage and Global Reach
Marketing wasn’t a footnote; it was a headline act. We hosted a Santa School event to get media attention, an approach that captured the imaginations of both families and newsrooms alike. In fact, the project drew global media coverage from titans like the BBC, ITV, Channel 5 News, CNBC, and The One Show. This was all part of a comprehensive paid media campaign, which gathered significant attention and drove thousands of conversions. Our efforts even caught the eye of Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, who lent his influential support to help us scale globally.
The Legacy of Santa HQ
By the close of 2021, Santa HQ had not only graced the digital screens but also the hearts of thousands of families around the globe. The sheer scale and reach of the project were awe-inspiring. It wasn’t just a technological marvel or a marketing coup; it was an emotional touchpoint that reminded everyone of the resilience of the human spirit, even in the darkest of times. This extraordinary achievement is a glowing testament to the sheer willpower, creativity, and professionalism of our team at PRISM⁵⁵. But above all, Santa HQ is a monument to what can be achieved when humanity and technology harmonise. It’s not just a project that we’re proud of; it’s an endeavour that elevates our collective capacity for good, bringing smiles and moments of respite to families in a tumultuous world.