One of the more innovative “stunts” this Christmas Season is by Canadian Tire. They have a Christmas tree installed at Union Station, Toronto, that is powered by the “Christmas Spirit.”(See “How the Tree Works” below if you are interested).
They have designed a microsite that features a LiveStream of the Christmas tree with its 3,000 LED lights, and has social media bells and whistles like Facebook and Twitter share buttons and a nice map of Canada that shows popup messages from the social channels they are using to “power” the tree.
However, as cool as this site is, there is no call to action beyond sharing the page.
Powering the Campaign for Results
So, as much as I love this concept, it falls short.
It isn’t really marketing, and it doesn’t quite fulfill any objective to extend new relationships with people that stumble onto the site. In fact, to find the Canadian Tire Facebook page, I had to click through to the ecommerce site and then look for the Facebook icon. Shouldn’t that be on the Christmas Tree page?
I do wonder if the campaign has any measurable objective beyond traffic, number of messages, and to simply delight? These “attention” measures often lead to a site like this one, which is more pretty than practical.
Even a couple of small tweaks would help. For instance, allowing people to “LIKE” your Facebook page from the site gives another chance for Canadian Tire to reach these potential customers through innovative Facebook posts. Or how about a link to the Holiday section of the Canadian Tire website vs. the home page? Right now the link to the mother ship is buried at the bottom left. Why not a very small message, “Let us help you deck your halls?” By the way, for my American audience, Canadian Tire doesn’t just sell tires.
Finally, they have an amazing opportunity to bring this to the local community by having a real-world event. How about a inviting your social media fans (Facebook and Twitter) to the lighting of the tree? Also invite local influencers, real world and social media. The concept would drive local media to come out and it might have a bigger share of the news that night.
To be fair, they may have had such an event, but looking for it online, I didn’t see any coverage of it or events on their Facebook page. They do have this press release on their corporate site that has some interesting stats and I expect that they will get a fair share of media coverage.
It would make sense to extend the investment they obviously put into this microsite. Can you see anything you would change or tweak?
How the Tree Works
They have a handy page to explain it, but I here is the gist.
Using a social media monitoring service, they are searching for Christmas-themed keywords on Social Networks, Blogs and Forums, News Media and messages shared from ChristmasSpiritTree.ca. They designed a computer lighting software to translate Christmas posts into data that can then be visualized as lights on the tree.