Sears Be The Santa iAd

custom mobile app for a major national retailer

For the Holiday 2010 season, Sears invited you to “Be the Santa” through a national campaign that included TV commercials, billboards and display ads — and also an Apple iAd. I lead the design team on the iAd project to create an engaging mobile experience that fit within the larger campaign.

fig. 2

The concept driving the campaign was the idea of different kinds of “Santas” to represent different approaches to holiday shopping — each personified by a different character and model.

In the app, the characters functioned as user avatars.

fig. 3

The app opened with a Santa picker: users could watch a short video from each character before choosing which Santa they wanted “to be.” The “Santa” selected on the initial screen tailored the rest of the experience.

The concept for the iAd was for it to function as a toolkit app for busy “Santas” on-the-go: a series of quick gamified gift suggestion tools and fun explorations that could easily be completed in under a minute.

figs. 4–7

Santa’s Helper allowed the user to explore a random selection of gift ideas (based on his or her chosen Santa avatar.) Users could shake the gifts to see what’s inside and tap a product for more info, link to shop, or save for later.

On the back end, products were served dynamically so the client could keep the selection updated throughout the lifecycle of the app.

figs. 8–10

Other explorations included spinning a wreath to find gift suggestions based on personality types, a memory matching game and hidden object game — both of which had coupon codes as prizes.


  • iAd mobile app.
  • Series of 30–60 second touch-screen interactions.
  • Campaign tie-in.

my role

Creative Lead

at the Barbarian Group


Fall 2010