Santa Testimonial on YouTube – A Case Study

It’s the Christmas season and Santa has been hard at work doing in-depth data analysis of his nice list… and no, this is not a commercial for SAS.


Every organization has some form of annual performance review.  SAS is no exception.  Within the Video Communications and New Media team everyone has an objective to initiate and deliver innovative ideas that help the business.  Brendan Bailey, one of our Project Mangers, developed the idea of doing a spoof about how Santa uses SAS software to deliver the right toy, to the right child, all in a single evening.  The idea goes to the very heart of corporate branding – showing an organization has a sense of humor and heart.



The faux testimonial was developed as a skunk works project.  The team developed the project over several months, incorporating existing resources as much as possible to keep expenses to a minimum.  A lot of good ideas never made it past the script phase in an effort to keep expenses low.


To keep the program short, other good ideas hit the cutting room floor.  A segment on green initiatives ended up being cut.  We also lost a funny line where Santa talks about polar bears “loving (to eat) elves,” and the elves not thinking it was funny.  Too bad, it really was a funny line.


We were happy with the final project… but then hit a few roadblocks.


For a variety of reasons we were unable to publish the video on the company’s external website.  An alternate form in print was published, but the video was not included.  However, we took the opportunity to publish the video on YouTube.  The results were impressive.


Within the first 24 hours of posting, the video received well over 1,000 views.  Monitoring viewing stats, a tech writer at the N&O found the video and interviewed some of the people on the production team.  Getting your name in print is seldom a bad thing.  To quote Jane Russell, “Publicity can be terrible.  But only if you don’t have any.”


Now here is the best part.  Within two weeks of its posting on YouTube, video playback topped 10,000.  SAS CEO, Dr. Jim Goodnight, received an email from Michael Dell of Dell Computers saying the video was clever.


A note from John Gordon over at NC State said it best, “Santa, zero dollars. Elves, minimal cost. A note from Michael Dell to your CEO, priceless.”.



No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: