Where would Santa live if he couldn’t call the North Pole home?
That’s the basic premise behind the Santa Relocation Project, a campaign from environmental organization Greenpeace and BBH LA.
The Santa Relocation Project raises the question in order to draw attention to Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign.
The Santa Relocation Project includes four Craigslist posts in New York, Vancouver, Miami and Los Angeles advertising a “Quiet, North Pole Estate on 300 Acres.” There are also similar listings around the world.
“Cozy, well-kept property for sale, situated just 20 miles from the North Pole. This 4-building compound sits on 300 pristine arctic acres (as of last winter). Owned for generations by a family of toymakers,” the ads say. (As of Friday, the Los Angeles ad had expired.)
James Turner, head of communications for the Arctic campaign at Greenpeace, says the Trade.me ad in New Zealand has had “a high volume of traffic,” but provides no specifics. He also says it is the only ad that can measure traffic to the site. Other ad responses have come through the Facebook page, he adds.
The Greenpeace Save the Arctic Facebook page has 193,000 likes.
While the campaign also uses the hashtag #SantaRelocation on Twitter, Turner says the bulk of engagement has been through Facebook. According to Turner, some suggestions for Santa’s new home include: the Amazon, the Congo, Tierra del Fuego and the moon.
In addition, Greenpeace has added comments on Instagram images of children’s wish lists, saying this might be the last year lists can be sent to the North Pole. Turner says Greenpeace found lists with hashtags like #wishlist.
“Most of the original posters [on Instgram] have liked our comments,” he says. “We designed the campaign to appeal to these people in a lighthearted way.”
In addition, notices are being posted to mailboxes in Australia, New Zealand and India warning that Santa is moving due to Arctic melting.
Turner did not comment further on this particular aspect of the campaign, saying, “That is a mystery that only the creators of the project know. However we can say that New Zealand seems like the kind of place Santa might consider – it’s a long way away, very beautiful and is fairly safe from the impacts of global warming.”
According to Greenpeace, the Santa Relocation Project presents the issue of Arctic melting in a “humorous, playful and engaging way.”
“The Santa Relocation Project goal is to draw mass attention to this important issue and to spark conversations about the environment and global warming in a way that is both accessible and compelling to a broad audience,” Turner says.
Greenpeace and BBH LA are also using bloggers and celebrities to encourage dialogue and drive engagement.