Every year, it seems like more and more digital companies are getting into the holiday spirit and showing off their creativity by offering fun ways for kids of all ages to reach out to Santa Claus.Most of this Santa-stalking started with NORAD’s online Santa tracking 60 years ago and really took off once digital heavyweights like Google and Microsoft entered the picture.
Now there are countless ways for kids to make a last-minute plea to the big guy and get on the nice list and to track his journey on Christmas Eve. In what has become a sort of tradition here at DMR, here is a quick rundown of my four favorite online Santa campaigns.
NORAD Tracks Santa:
For the past 60 years, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been tracking Santa’s progress breaking and entering into all of the good kids’ homes around the globe. Each year, NORAD tries to make following Santa’s journey a bit more creative and interactive. Once again, they have teamed up with Microsoft for “NORAD Tracks Santa,” a fun digital experience filled with games, mapping and Cortana integration.
Take a look at this year’s trailer for NORAD Tracks Santa video trailer:
Google Santa Tracker:
Like the NORAD/Microsoft, this year’s version of the Google Santa Tracker has games, countdowns and mapping. In true Google-fashion, Santa Tracker is available pretty in pretty much ever format. With Chromecast, Glass, Chrome and Android integration, you won’t have much trouble finding Santa this year.
Here is a little sample of what you can expect from Google Santa Tracker:
Portable North Pole:
This one is very cool. Portable North Pole lets you customize a video from Santa that you can play for your kids.You have to enter in various variables and images to create the story. It is kind of a digital Mad Lib. There is a free version or a longer video option for $3.99. I created a free one for my son and the resulting video was very nice and smoother than most fill-in-the-blank variable videos. You should have seen the look on his face when Santa was talking to him. Use a Chromecast to unexpectedly break into a TV show with one of these videos and you’ll have some very excited kids. Who needs an elf on the shelf when you got Santa taking over your TV?
North Pole Radio:
This year, iHeartRadio has jumped into the holiday festivities with the launch of “North Pole Radio.” This holiday-themed station has all of your party music and is hosted by none other than the jolly old man himself. IN addition to the radio station, iHeart has Santa tweeting this year using the name @iheartsanta. Tweet your request to “Santa” and in addition to a song, you may get a response.
Bonus Tip: To get a sneak peek at Santa and get a quick countdown to takeoff, just type “Santa” or “Santa Claus” into Google Search. You’ll get a nice little surprise.
Enjoy the Santa tracking everyone..off to
do some last-minute start shopping!
Photo by greglobinski