Santa Claus — There’s only one who lives in the Arctic Circle…
Santa’s Lapland is in the far north of Finland, hidden in the snowy forests of Saariselkä, more than 200km above the Arctic Circle.
We got to work with him and his wider team at HotelPlan to create an entirely new visual, verbal, digital and experiential strategy to better connect to a wider visiting public…
No one who knows how to make Christmas more magical than the team behind Santa’s Lapland.
From the moment you arrive at the airport to the big day you meet the man in red, they make it magic.
The market leading Ultimate Lapland Christmas Trip has been operating for years, but wanted to look at how they could better invite people across the UK to fly to Lapland and experience all that Lapland can offer.
This is Santa — This is Snow — This is Christmas — This is being pulled through a forest on a sleigh — pulled by Huskies… feeding Reindeer, catching fish through a frozen lake… this is watching the Northern Lights… this is Magical at every turn. With memories made to last a lifetime.
No one knows more about what makes Christmas Magical. And it’s not easy.
The crew at Santa’s Lapland has been doing it for longer, with more people and better than anyone else — by really understanding what makes a good Christmas great.
The Santa’s Lapland team make hundreds of decisions every season — most of their guests don’t know how much goes into making the magic magical… so we set about adding some new aspects to the experience, to start to better showcase what they are likely to find on this trip of a lifetime.
Christmas and brands that work within that season face a tough challenge. In a cliché ridden sector, how do you create something ownable and authentic to you? Here we went deeper to find local materials, methodologies and cultural cues from Lapland & the Sámi people to create a new brand world that epitomises visiting the ultimate Christmas experience.
We developed a new bespoke typeface, based on historic traditional Sámi* letterforms and techniques was developed to add signature visual cues to all communications.
(*Sámi are the Finno-Ugric-speaking people inhabiting the region of Sápmi, which today encompasses what is popularly referred to as Lapland)
Moving away from traditionally shiny plastic trinkets — our new work uses sustainable materials and historic references. Designed to reflect the snow-laden forests and natural surroundings you’ll find yourself in — when walking past reindeer on your way to Santa’s door.
As some of the visitors are young (very young) — we developed non-written communications using pictograms and iconography to help even the youngest visitor get the very best out of their time leading up to, during and after their visit.
We also had to find a way to show Santa — but he’s a very busy chap — so we chose to mostly show the magical trail he leaves behind as he travels from place to place… a terrific way to show that each image is to do with Santa, without needing a logo or a picture of Santa himself.
We did get him to stand still for long enough to feature in the TV ad we filmed in Lapland, but he’s got lots on, and is a shy fellow, so you won’t see much of him for very long in the film (or anywhere else)… but that’s fine, it keeps the magic alive even more, particularly for the younger visitor.
It’s not every day that you get to be involved in helping to re-launch Santa, and the team at SomeOne did an amazing job in supporting that, by delivering a magical transformation of the brand.
The new brand world delivers on all requirements of our brief and the team worked incredibly hard in every aspect of the project, from creative through to account management. It was a pleasure to work with them.
An entirely new set of sustainable and locally sensitive branded items were designed, from baubles to badges, Christmas stockings to Mugs for hot chocolate and marshmallows.
The new experiences designed here centre around the search for Santa — the thrill of the chase — the rising levels of expectation… and that’s what the new film script is about… children glimpsing dashes of red in the distance… could it be? might it be Santa?
Crafting a new visual identity for one of the most famous men on on the planet is a daunting task. But with such a rich history to work with, developing new visual and verbal assets to be deployed across print, pixels and many, many parcels was a joy.
An extensive new series of photographic images were captured on location in Lapland — as well as the writing, directing and filming of the new advertising campaign.
While the creation of TV ads and photographic assets is nothing new to us as SomeOne — capturing them in the Arctic Circle, at -20ºc, while Huskies race around a frozen lake pulling a family of four, was new!
Hats off to the photography & filming crews run by our longtime collaborator Sorted.tv and to the Digital wows from Crafted.
Huge thanks to the entire team at Hotelplan, notably Joe, Anne, Vicky, Tom & Alex.
Ho Ho Ho!
(Press play below to see the new TV ad — turn your speakers up!)