Thursday, December 8, 2011

Santa Claus 2.0

With all of our discussion of digital transformation of industries, we forgot a very seasonal one:

Mall Santa

I don't know why I'm surprised, but it appears that Santa video chats are popping up all over, giving families with kids the relief that they no longer have to brave the crowded malls during holiday season to tell Santa what they want for Christmas. Great business opportunity for those owners of a web cam, white beard, and velvet red suit (smarter to probably rent during the holiday season ... not sure why you would need this outfit any other time .... Christmas in July?). But if this idea really takes off, what effect would it have on the economy if those families would otherwise turn the mall Santa visit into a shopping trip. More e-commerce I bet. I wonder if retailers would actually join the fray, almost as a way to advertise directly to kids. But maybe that's going to far.

The online Santa business is only beginning. I know from experience that my nieces and nephews make regular checks to NORAD on Christmas eve to see Santa's location (We're usually in California, so when he approaches New Mexico, it's time for bed!), along with phone calls to the NORAD Santa hotline to double check his location (in cases where the kids don't believe the website is up to date). What other holiday opportunities are out there that are waiting to be digitally transformed?

I'm personally looking forward to an online Festivus airing of grievances.

Happy Holidays everyone!!

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