Santacon as Marketing: Using Brand Ambassadors to Reach New Audiences

If you’ve been in New York City on the 2nd Saturday of December over the last few years you’ve probably run into the phenomenon known as SantaCon.

My Santacon experience began six years ago, on a random cold December night.  I wanted to do something fun and was trying to think of new ideas.   Since it was December a friend of mine eventually said, why don’t you go get a Santa costume and just go out for the night.  I’ll save the cliffhanger – wearing a Santa outfit in December and walking around in public is amazing.  Its fun, everyone’s happy to see you, and when you’re in a bar everyone wants to buy you a drink.

What I didn’t know at the time was that Santacon was an annual event, with thousands of participants (although I don’t know how many were doing it back then) in cities across the globe.  So how does this relate to anything professionally?

I think Santacon can be related to your movement or marketing in the following ways:

  • Fun – how are you helping your “participants” (participating could be buying your product, using our services, or even viewing your creative work) have a better time than if they were just sitting around doing nothing.  Like I said, Santacon shows that having fun generates a lot of interest.
  • Being part of a group – most people don’t ever want to feel left out.  Anyone can participate in Santacon (yes, people even dress up as menorahs) and one of the reasons people love it because in order to fit in all they have to do is show up in a Santa suit.  Making it easy for people to know what it takes to ‘fit in’ will mean more people will try and fit in. Make sure your marketing tells them.
  • Part of something bigger than that group – As people get to know more about Santacon they learn that it’s a global movement with events throughout December and in various cities.  In some this can create a competition to make their city the biggest and in others this just means that they want to fit in even more because they don’t want their city to be left out.

There’s a lot more that can be learned from joining 4,000 people in your city all dressed up like Santa. The best way to learn – get a suit and jump in.

Matt Kane

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