Hunt, Gather News

Hunt, Gather News

Santa's Magical Mailroom: An AI-Powered Holiday Campaign

Dec 2023


Every year, our agency pulls together to launch a holiday project that lets us flex our collective creative muscle and celebrate the season. During our initial brainstorming sessions, we rallied around a unifying truth: there's nothing quite like holding a personalized holiday card in your hands, knowing someone thought of you. With a little digging, we uncovered declining trends in personalized holiday card giving due to digital disruption. So we wondered: how might AI resurrect this nostalgic magic? The answer, friends, was Santa Claus. We envisioned an AI platform generating handwritten, customizable letters straight from the North Pole into the eager hands of believing children. The goal? Spread cheer while supporting future female coders through donations to Girls Who Code with every magical letter.

Building Santa’s Magical Mailroom

First, we had to build the creative world. Our team used AI to visualize various mailroom concepts - everything from elf postal workers to flying reindeer messengers. Ultimately, Santa's Magical Mailroom resonated strongest, with Santa and AI both symbolizing magical, joy-spreading forces. With the creative direction approved, it was time for our cross-functional teams to recreate the North Pole right here in Austin.

Our design team conceptualized a dazzling, immersive, interactive mailroom interface and experience using AI to experiment with visuals, music, and other sensory details. From the magic of the mouse to the final stamp on the letter, every detail was thoughtfully considered and aided by our AI tools. The most unexpectedly challenging part? Identifying a font that could credibly pass as Santa’s!

The engineering team built a robust backend linking the front-end mailroom experience to customized letter generation, emailing system, shipping logistics, and donor tracking. In addition, they built out the e-commerce functionality to allow for seamless holiday shopper checkout of multiple letters in a single order.

And our AI team tackled the task of bringing Santa himself to life, developing a specialized agent to convincingly match Santa’s distinctive tone, voice, and humor. These personalized messages were then fed to a handwriting printer with unique configurations mimicking St. Nick's script. They tweaked and tested word counts and fonts until finally unrolling scrolls worthy of the North Pole.

As launch day approached, Hunt, Gather transformed too - from an AI-orchestrating agency into an orchestra of mailroom attendants. From printer maintenance to custom envelope-stuffing, we perfected this Santa-summoning assembly line to ensure that no missing detail would spoil the magic. Soon, children across the country tore open red envelopes filled with paper signed by "Santa" himself, with a dash of peppermint oil to complete the experience.

The Final Impact

By blending emotional insight, creative vision, and artificial intelligence, Santa’s Magical Mailroom restored the cherished tradition of personalized holiday greetings for the digital age. Our team was able to send out hundreds of notes from Santa, spreading joy across the country. And through each merry letter, we furthered our mission of supporting the next generation of female technologists.