Toronto Star

Meet the Santas: The spark behind updating traditiona­l figures,


Mrs. Claus: The “I Am Mrs. Claus” campaign at Upper Canada Mall nods to the women who buy and wrap the gifts; shop for and cook the feast; plan the office party, host the cookie exchange and manage to take it all in stride, according to marketing director Jennifer Kleinberg. “This year, we’re showing appreciati­on and gratitude to the women who make it all happen, year after year, during the holiday season. This initiative declares Mrs. Claus as the every-woman, who we consider the beating heart of the holidays.” Mrs. Claus will present the mall’s 2015 Holiday Gift Guide, fashion looks, hold a handbag contest and provide holiday advice via social media. Santa Baby: Belk, a chain of department stores in the southeaste­rn United States launched a tongue-incheek Santa Baby campaign five years ago that has become a hit with their mostly female customer base. “We wanted him to be modern, contempora­ry and somewhat aspiration­al,” said Jon Pollack, executive vice-president of marketing, sales promotion and e-commerce at Belk Inc. Hipster Santa: Central Mall in Sydney, Australia, had just opened when the university crowd that drove much of its business went home for Christmas. “Christmas at Central was not on the radar,” said Lu Borges, commu- nications director for the ad agency BMF. The agency introduced Hipster Santa, a young, Internet-savvy, fashion-forward, socially conscious, latte-sipping citizen. His beard was the real deal. Hipster Santa lived in a workshop in Central Mall. He acted as a shopping adviser by curating items with “Approved by Hipster Santa” tags, wrapped presents with custom paper and took selfies. Hipster Santa was not an actor, said Borges. “Every aspect of him was real, from his clothes, to his beard, all the way to his love of coconut water and gluten-free macaroons.” The mall became a go-to place to shop. Foot traffic increased 137 per cent and sales climbed 85 per cent. Fashion Santa: Paul Mason, the model behind Fashion Santa at Yorkdale, says there’s “some initial surprise that’s always followed by a degree of delight and then playfulnes­s,” when people first discover him. “I’m bringing people some holiday joy and helping raise money for charity. What’s not to love?” For every selfie with Fashion Santa shared on social media using the hashtag #YorkdaleFa­shionSanta, the mall will donate $1 to charity, to a maximum of $10,000. What’s does the Fashion Santa have in common with the real deal, beyond the clothes? “The biggest similarity would be our approach — we want to make people smile and bring joy and goodwill to everyone over the holidays.”

 ?? YORKDALE MALL ?? Paul Mason is the Yorkdale Mall Fashion Santa. He doesn’t replace the traditiona­l Santa at the mall, and focuses on adults.
YORKDALE MALL Paul Mason is the Yorkdale Mall Fashion Santa. He doesn’t replace the traditiona­l Santa at the mall, and focuses on adults.

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