Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Believe" is Back This Holiday Season

Building on the strength of its beloved ‘Believe’ campaign, Macy’s  announced exciting elements of its third-annual national holiday effort to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation®. Adding to the campaign’s unprecedented success collecting more than 2.5 million letters in the first two years, Macy’s will again ask customers to mail their letter to Santa at Macy’s to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Additional efforts include launching another National Santa Tour to 26 new cities and celebrating the second annual National Believe Day on Friday, December 10. The campaign kicks off on Sunday, November 7, with a new animated television spot that will nod to the “Yes, Virginia” animated holiday special produced by Macy’s last year. “Yes, Virginia” will air again this year on December 17, on CBS.

The nostalgic holiday campaign, inspired by the New York Sun’s famous “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” editorial from 1897, features letter-writing “Believe Stations” in Macy’s stores across the country with Macy’s making a $1 donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for each letter deposited in Macy’s Santa Mail, up to $1 million.

“Macy’s ‘Believe’ effort continues to inspire people across the country to celebrate the season’s spirit of generosity and goodwill,” said Peter Sachse, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “Last year, we collected more than one million letters and hit our $1 million goal for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but more important, we saw an outpouring of support by schools and communities coordinating letter drives to help support this effort or to come out to meet Macy’s famous Santa on his whirlwind bus tour. This year, we’re building on these new traditions, and we have some special new elements in store to celebrate National Believe Day.”

Beginning on November 7, believers of all ages are invited to drop off letters – stamped and addressed to Santa At The North Pole – at any Macy’s store in the Santa Mail letterbox. For each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, up to $1 million, to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

“The Make-A-Wish Foundation is proud to join with Macy’s to make wishes come true through the ‘Believe’ campaign,” said David Williams, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America president and chief executive officer. “It inspires people to embrace the generosity of the season and think hopefully about the future. ‘Believe’ ties in perfectly with our mission to grant the heartfelt wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, and we appreciate the support of Macy’s and everyone who takes part in the campaign.”

‘Believe’ elements this year, include:

Macy’s National Santa Tour (Kicks off Nov. 27) – For the second year in a row, Santa will embark on a whirlwind American tour, spreading joy to girls and boys across the country following his celebratory kickoff of the holiday season in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®. Stopping in 26 cities across the U.S. through December 22, Santa’s National Tour will give children the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet the man himself. Visit www.macys.com/believe (site goes live November 7) for scheduled stops and to track Santa’s latest location.

National Believe Day (Dec. 10) – On Friday, December 10, Macy’s will again celebrate National Believe Day to celebrate the spirit of the season and to inspire kindness and generosity from coast to coast. The special day will again focus on the season’s message of humanity and charity toward others.

As National Believe Day approaches, more details will be released on this year’s effort.

“Yes, Virginia” Animated Special (Dec. 17)

Back by popular demand, CBS will re-air the original animated special, “Yes, Virginia.” Building on the story of 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon’s letter to the editor of the New York Sun in 1897, the holiday special takes us on a charming adventure about the existence of Santa Claus and the curiosity amongst believers. During the creation of “Yes, Virginia,” a special wish was fulfilled for then 11-year-old wish kid Taylor Hay – whose voice and likeness were captured for one of the characters. The half-hour holiday program will air on CBS on Friday, December 17, at 8 p.m. ET. Featuring an all-star cast of voices including Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Alfred Molina and Beatrice Miller in the title role, “Yes, Virginia” was created and produced by Macy's and JWT in conjunction with The Ebeling Group and MEC Entertainment, a division of Mediaedge:cia.

“Yes, Virginia” Merchandise

First a popular animated special on CBS, now “Yes, Virginia” is available as a DVD and book that families can share throughout the holiday season and entire year! Plus, each sale of the “Yes, Virginia” book and DVD at Macy’s helps spread kindness with a donation of 10 percent of the purchase price to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. “Yes, Virginia” fans can also purchase holiday ornaments and a snow globe exclusively at Macy’s and Macys.com, all inspired by the original story that continues to make a believer of everyone!

Virginia Balloon

Making her debut in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year is a little girl who taught everybody to believe! Modeled after the animated version of 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon, Virginia is ready to kick off the holidays for her inaugural flight. And although, she "saw it in the Sun, so it must be so," Virginia will have a special treat when she escorts Santa Claus himself down the Parade route.

macys.com/believe (Site is live on Nov. 7)

• ‘Believe’ Activity Guide – Based on continued response from schools and teachers, Macy’s and the Make-A-Wish Foundation will again share a downloadable online toolkit to facilitate interest from teachers and schools that would like to use ‘Believe’ as a writing lesson or activity during the holiday season. The toolkit – which includes an updated letter-writing template to allow for more interactivity and design, coloring sheet and “I Believe” bookmark cut-out – can be found on macys.com/believe, then can be printed and mailed at Macy’s.

• Santa Tour Tracker – Macy’s ‘Believe’ microsite will also feature a map with Santa’s whirlwind tour schedule. All Santa stop details will be listed here for believers of all ages wanting to meet the man himself.

• Celebrities Believe – New on macys.com/believe is a “Celebrities Believe” page, showcasing all the celebrities that believe in the magic of the holiday season, on tour and at home, and still write their own letters to Santa! New celebrity letters will be posted periodically throughout the season.

Facebook: The ‘Believe’ Challenge (Site is live on Nov. 17)

Calling all Facebook users: help Virginia and Ollie get their letters to Santa! New to this year’s campaign, members of Facebook can “Like” Macy’s for a chance to play The ‘Believe’ Challenge. Inspired by 80s computer game Frogger®, the goal is to get your letter delivered in a certain amount of time, without getting hit by a flying snowball! Successfully deliver the letter and Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, up to $250,000, above the in-store donation. Members can help raise additional funds by posting their win on their personal page or inviting others to play!

The ‘Believe’ campaign is rooted in a letter to the editor written by 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon in 1897 asking if there is a Santa Claus. The New York Sun newsman Francis P. Church responded with a poignantly worded essay on the importance of believing, including the famous line “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist…”

The ‘Believe’ campaign launches on November 7 and runs through December 24. For believers who want to help make a difference, just look for the Believe Stations in every store that feature a Believe Meter, letter-writing station and an official R.H. Macy’s Santa Mail letterbox.

2 comments:

Elaine said...

It's a great campaign and it's hard to 'believe' that it is that time of year again.

perfectingpru said...

I remember watching the 'Yes, Virginia' preview on your blog last year Kenn. And I have now ordered it on Amazon. I can't wait to be fully in the Christmassy spirit. And this film will certainly help.