Holidays are the time to reflect, be with loved ones and look out for others. But why do all the messages of your favorite causes and charities have to be so serious?
We asked ourselves this question when developing a holiday fundraising campaign for the David Suzuki Foundation, a charitable organization that does leading environmental work on climate change and species protection worldwide.
Now don't get me wrong. It's not that climate change, or other social causes that I have received e-blasts for this holiday season (poverty reduction, clean water, education for girls in developing countries) is any laughing matter. Far from it. But why must they be so earnest?
What if we could put a smile on people's faces and drive donations for worthy causes? What if humor could be used to incent people to want to give?
It's a basic tenet of ours at Public, a social purpose business that creates and produces cause campaigns and programs. We are big believers in making giving fun and engaging in order to reach those that are not normally predisposed to doing so. For us, it's not about trying to get the 20 percent of civically engaged citizens to do more. It's about mobilizing the 80 percent. And that means fun needs to be part of the equation.
This holiday season we thought, why not have some fun with Santa?
So we created "Where Will Santa Live?", a tongue and cheek alternative gift campaign where you can buy a range of holiday gifts to help Santa have a safe landing as he temporarily evacuates the North Pole (thanks to climate change).
For his journey you can buy: Reindeer Water Wings, Traveling Cobbling Kit for his elves, Dry-Fit Santa Suit and Elf-Sized Hockey Sticks to help Santa and the Elves feel right at home in Canada. We have a video of David Suzuki reporting from the North Pole to help explain the campaign.
Does humor work? Depends on who you ask.
According to Scientific American it does, citing the campaign as the best holiday gift giving ever.
So now it's your turn.
Do humor and Santa mix?
You be the judge (and let us know what you think).