To ring in the holiday season, Arnold created a storefront activation in Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall from December 13-14, bringing to life the illusion that visitors could interact with Santa via SMS in real-time. Passersby saw an 80” display that showed a “live feed” of Santa made up of short programatic video loops, and were delighted to discover that they could text him at his “leaked” number, message back and forth with him, see his reactions on the screen, and even receive his selfies.

Tapping into the power of Havas Cognitive partner IBM Watson and our proprietary AI, Santa responded to each text as we determined whether visitors were in fact, naughty or nice. Through an SMS-based decision tree and Watson’s perusal of Twitter profiles, Santa and his elves carefully determined just what sort of gift each visitor deserved…

Then, in a surprising moment that bridges technology and the real world, an elf emerged from within the storefront with the visitor’s carefully selected gift in hand. Arnold Elves surprised and delighted consumers with a gift specially picked just for them – from lumps of coal to fun holiday gear to one-of-a-kind holiday musical performances.

Additional Resources

Adweek coverage: Agency Holiday Cards 2016: The Coolest, Funniest and Silliest Season’s Greetings

Diverge coverage: Arnold Worldwide Creates Virtual Santa in Boston Storefront