Tracking Santa

News
During the holidays, Macerich introduced Santa Tracking Stations to seven shopping centers in four states.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based The Macerich Co. kept close tabs on Santa Claus during the 2007 holiday season, as the mall owner introduced a “Santa Tracking Station” in seven of its shopping centers. Created by Baltimore-based Becker Group, the tracking station uses interactive elements to not only trace Santa’s annual journey around the globe, but also digitally put guests into an airborne sleigh flying over famous world landmarks—and photographs them en route. The exhibit provides education on the 52-year-old tradition of tracking Santa’s journey by the military’s North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

“The Santa Tracking Station is an innovative way to enhance our guests’ shopping experience during the holidays,” said Susan Valentine, senior VP, consumer experience for Macerich. “The customer satisfaction increases noticeably, and the positive word of mouth just can’t be replicated.”

By mid-December, Macerich was already reporting photo sales up more than 40% over last year at the company’s Westside Pavilion Center in Los Angeles, as compared to the traditional Santa photo area. In addition, an accompanying Web site ( www.santatrackingstation.com ) created a regenerating Web-on-Web shopping circle with Macerich centers, providing Web visitors further opportunity for engagement such as sending e-mail letters to Santa.