Old and young brought Santaline to life

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For the last 24 Christmases, Spark’s Santaline has received hundreds of thousands of calls yearly – all from excited Kiwi kids, eager to make sure Santa gets their wish-list.

But because Christmas is Santa’s busiest time of year, those calls have always gone straight through to voicemail.

2017 was a little different.

A new campaign from Colenso BBDO saw Santa recruit a team of old friends to give him a hand answering calls for real – the elderly residents of Metlifecare retirement villages, who answered the calls right up until Christmas.

Colenso BBDO chief creative officer Levi Slavin said when it came time to find Santa’s helpers, they knew exactly who they wanted to ask. “With at least 70 Christmases under their belts, they were the most experienced candidates by a country mile. Luckily, the job had enough perks to lure them over. And we hear Santa makes a pretty good boss.”

“We’re so pleased that we could use Santaline to connect two completely different groups of people – kids, and the elderly – in such a magical way,” says Frith Wilson-Hughes, Spark’s social communications manager. “And no offence to Santa, but after 24 years of voicemail, it’s very cool to finally have someone pick up.”

The campaign launched on December 4, with a film on Facebook and Instagram, sending call volumes up an impressive 40%.


Client: Spark
GM Customer & Marketing: Clive Ormerod
Head of Brand, Communications and Experience: Sarah Williams
Social Communications Manager: Frith Wilson-Hughes
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Art Director: Charlie Godinet
Copywriter: Eloise Jack
Creative Director: Mike Davison
Senior Account Director: Renata Gordon
Account Manager: Charlotte Eddowes
Media: PHD
PR: Spark PR & Activate
Senior Account Director: Victoria Fruean
Production Company: Untold Projects
Producer: Cherie Mason

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