Meet Santa – Shaken, not stirred

Meet Santa – Shaken, not stirred

Once again, brands are battling it out to achieve the most memorable and talked about Christmas advertisement. The UK alone has been estimated to spend £5.6bn on marketing in the run-up to Christmas – according to the latest estimates by the Advertising Association.

With heavyweights such as John Lewis splashing £7m and Burberry’s lavish new campaign costing an incredible £10m, brands are showing real intent to conquer this market. It’s therefore more important than ever for brands with smaller budgets to bring new ideas in order to compete.

At LAW Creative, we have been busy working on several Christmas campaigns across a number of our clients. One such campaign I have particularly enjoyed working on is a digital Christmas advent calendar for EVOKE Gaming.

As part of this brief, we were asked to design an interactive and engaging advent calendar that would allow gamers to visit a dedicated landing page and claim daily prizes (from free spins to cash bonuses).

For an audience that are serious gamers the traditional, cheery, festive Santa didn’t seem to fit the bill. We needed to make an emotional connection to the brand using a strong sense of appeal, colour, design, composition and versatility as well as carry through an enigmatic theme.

The birth of our ’00 Santa’
For an audience of online gamers that are used to animated characters, what better way to drive brand engagement? The tactic of creating a central character to personify your brand (a mascot) has long been a successful marketing technique for over 30 years, but has recently made a real resurgence. So how do you get it right for your brand?

Audience research and evaluation
With an audience of gamers that appreciate heritage and prestige, used to taking charge and receiving VIP treatment, it was essential to emulate these characteristics when constructing our figure. We studied existing characters that possess the sophistication, status and influence we know would appeal to our audience.

Character devl

Visual characteristics
We developed a strong and interesting visual appeal to get viewers’ attention. Through the use of strong keylines and defining features we brought to life a bold yet charismatic Santa. Colours play a big part to carrying through personality, dark/muted colours portray a mysterious, almost wry humoured character.

Emotions (or lack of)
We wanted to create a moody but not miserable character. Through the use of expressions, poses and outfits our Santa would carry a desired James Bond-esque persona. Capturing the right expressions can be tough, but essential to bringing characters to life with thought and feeling.

Santa devl

Santa’s club lounge
The environment you place the character in is almost as important as the figure itself. Santa’s Club Lounge. Here we would further increase the believability of our character, give him personality and feeling and allow the audience to interact with him.

If you’re looking to build a real brand presence online, the creation of a brand character is essential to giving your organisations a face and personality to get closer than ever to customers. Feel free to get in touch to discuss how LAW Creative can help you get started. Please contact