Macy's Digital, Case study YES, VIRGINIA by J. Walter Thompson New York

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Industry Retail, Distribution & Rental companies
Media Digital, Interactive & Mobile, Case study
Market United States
Agency J. Walter Thompson New York
Director Pete Circuitt
Executive Creative Director Wayne Best
Creative Director Matt Macdonald
Art Director Jim Wood
Producer Kallan Kagan, Kate Schwerin
Released June 2010


Cannes Lions 2010
Titanium and Integrated - Bronze

Credits & Description

Type of entry: Titanium and Integrated
Advertiser: MACY'S
Agency: JWT New York, USA
Writer: Chris Plehal (JWT New York)
Producer: Kallan Kagan (The Ebeling Group)
Producer: Kate Schwerin (JWT New York)
Executive Producer: Robin Feldman (JWT New York)
Executive Creative Director: Wayne Best (JWT New York)
Creative Director: Matt Macdonald (JWT New York)
Music: Nicholas Hooper (Cool Music)
Director: Pete Circuitt (Bitstate)
Executive Producer: Dexton Deboree (The Ebeling Group)
Executive Producer: Mick Ebeling (The Ebeling Group)
Chief Creative Officer: Harvey Marco (JWT New York)
Chief Creative Officer: Ty Montague (JWT New York)
Account Director: Helena Touseull (JWT New York)
Art Director: Jim Wood (JWT New York)
Director of Integrated Production: Clair Grupp (JWT New York)
Global Account Director: Beth Waxman-Arteta (JWT New York)
Director of Brand Production: Joe Calabrese (JWT New York)
Executive Producer: Joe Fezcko (Macy's)
Consulting Producer: Betsy Spence (Macy's)
Describe the campaign/entry:
In 1897 a little girl named Virginia, wrote a letter to the New York Sun, asking if Santa Claus was real. The newspaper's response remains one of the most famous editorials in history: "Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus..." Fast-forward to 2008, the Yes, Virginia editorial inspires 'Believe', a holiday campaign for Macy's. Quoting those famous words, we asked American's to prove they believe by writing their own letter to Santa Claus and mailing it at any Macy's nationwide. Believe Meter's across the country tracked the progress, and by Christmas 2008 had collected over 1.1 million letters. Our challenge for 2009 was to build on that success. We knew we could inspire more people to believe if we told Virginia's story beyond the confines of traditional advertising.
Give some idea of how successful this campaign/entry was with both client and consumer:
'Yes, Virginia' cemented itself as a new holiday classic and a franchise that will continue to generate revenue through merchandise, DVD sales and other channels.
'Yes, Virginia' reached more than 3.7 million viewers.
PR resulted in a substantial lift in overall exposure during Macy’s most critical season with 1.84 billion impressions generated.
On the night of the show, 'Yes, Virginia' was Google’s No. 1 and No.4 hottest search terms.
'Yes, Virginia' made TV Guide’s coveted Hot List. USA Today said, "Like Santa himself, Virginia should be a welcome Christmas visitor for years to come." The Parents Television Council named it the Best TV Show of the Week.
Holiday sales for the five-week period ending Jan. 2, 2010 achieved Macy’s sales goals: $4.4 billion in sales, 1% growth in same-store sales and 29% growth of
Describe how the campaign/entry was launched and executed across each channel in the order of implementation.
On December 11th, the true story of 'Yes, Virginia' aired, a 30-minute animated Christmas special that was pitched and sold to CBS, and premiered in prime time. In just 37 weeks, half the production schedule of a typical animated show, we created a living, breathing New York City, circa 1897. We invented a motley cast of characters to help Virginia on her quest, and hired some famous voices to bring them to life. The show incorporated elements of the Believe Campaign, through the Believe Meter and the red holiday mailboxes. But more importantly, we crafted a story around our campaign message, the importance and power of believing.