ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Macy?s premieres animated special on YouTube for National Believe Day

On a day where the department store will double donations made to both its physical locations and mobile-optimized Web site, Macy?s will debut its ?Yes, Virginia? special on a similarly mobile-optimized platform. 

Both promotions are meant to ring in the occasion of National Believe Day, a December 9 holiday created out of the longstanding partnership between the retailer and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, called the Believe campaign. Macy?s recent expansion of its letter-writing donation program to a mobile-optimized platform has brought all involved parties success.

"Everyone is online these days, whether it?s via desktop or mobile, so we wanted to provide a simple, digital way that parents and kids can get involved in the letter writing campaign," said Holly Thomas, vice president of cause marketing at Macy?s Group. "By visiting, children can easily type up their letter to Santa and add holiday stickers for a festive touch. 

"Just like letters received at our Believe stations in store, for each letter sent online at, we donate $1, up to $1 million dollars, to Make-A-Wish."

National Believe Day
Since early November, Macy?s has invited customers to drop letters to Santa at their local Macy?s store or send online via the campaign?s mobile-optimized Web site. Macy?s will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish for every letter collected through Christmas Eve. 

On National Believe Day on Dec. 9, Macy?s will offer a double donation, providing an additional $1 per letter to Make-A-Wish up to an extra $1 million above the existing campaign goal. Macy?s and Make-A-Wish will also celebrate Wishes Across America by granting wishes in Macy?s stores across the country and hosting a community event within each of its participating locations.

?Yes, Virginia?
Macy?s YouTube channel will also premiere its ?Yes, Virginia? animated special on National Believe Day, starring Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Alfred Molina and Beatrice Miller  in the title role. The special, and the Believe campaign as a whole, is inspired by the true story of 8-year-old Virginia, who wrote a letter to the New York Sun newspaper in 1897 asking about the existence of Santa.

The newspaper's response, ?Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,? penned by Francis P. Church, became the most reprinted editorial in any English-language newspaper.

As a part of this year?s Believe campaign, the retailer held a promotion called The Santa Project, designed to counteract the Internet cynicism that even its youngest customers are exposed to. Through The Santa Project, participating social media users will engage in a worthy distraction from much of the divisiveness that plagues the platform by coming together to keep children?s belief in Santa alive (see story). 

And Aflac is teaming up with Macy?s for a holiday charity campaign that makes use of social media and branded mobile messaging services to raise awareness for childhood cancer (see story).

"Giving back is a big part of what fuels the spirit of the holiday season," Ms. Thomas said. "For the last nine years, Macy?s and Make-A-Wish have teamed together for the iconic letter writing campaign that parents and kids look forward to each year. 

"The season also marks a major milestone, as Macy?s will celebrate $100 million in total giving to Make-A-Wish since 2003, with nearly $13 million donated through the Believe campaign alone. The need of wishes continues to grow, so we?re hopeful to collect as many letters as possible through Christmas Eve."