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10.5 Case Study: and Speedy Santa, a leading UK gifts and gadgets e-tailer, hired agency to create the most popular Christmas viral of December 2004. The viral concept also needed to drive traffic to the site to boost sales of toys and gadgets. created an addictive game based on a simple idea: drag Santa around his Lapland track in the quickest time.

Figure 10.3 The Speedy Santa Game on

Players were given a global position at the end of each lap, and every player who completed a lap of the Firebox track won a £5 Firebox voucher.

The hook: A system of private leagues was devised where players could invite four friends or colleagues to join a leader board. Everyone in that league was e-mailed a personal Web site link and scores were updated in real time.

These leagues proved to be a big hit and created a lot of office buzz. Within four days, the game was number one in the FHM Top 100 games. The Speedy Santa game was played over twenty-two million times in the run-up to Christmas. On average, people played the game over sixty times each. Of people who played the Firebox Speedy Santa game, 87 percent clicked through to the site, at a cost to Firebox of under $0.02 per click-through. And they each had a Firebox voucher to spend right before Christmas.

Christian Robinson, marketing director of, said, “It has definitely been one of the most successful promotions we have ever run, generated hundreds of thousands of pounds in revenue and bringing the Firebox brand to tens of thousands of new customers.”Christian Robinson, personal communication with Sarah Blake.

Case Study Questions

  1. Why do you think leader boards were an important contributing factor to the success of this campaign?
  2. How did capitalize on the success of the game?
  3. How was the game suited to its target audience and time of year?