That Santa Elevator Ride Is At A Boston Mall (Not in NJ), And It Was Created By A Montreal Creative Studio
December 19, 2022 by Dave Haynes
The post I put up about a week ago about a digital Santa Claus display at a U.S. shopping mall has generated a lot of page views, but also a lot of confusion about the location of the exhibit and how it works.
After many comments and emails, I finally have some clarity about where it is, what it is, how it works, and who is behind it.
Turns out this is not in New Jersey, but in suburban Boston at a mall. It’s a full Santa Claus experience that is ideally booked in advance but possible for walk-up. The mall recovers the big cost of this directly through admission – $20, with up-sells on photos, as this behaves in part as a photo studio. There are also the softer financial benefits of pulling families to the mall to see the display and buy stuff in stores.
The “elevator” is a clever cube with doors, made to look like an elevator, with on-screen content that suggests to kids that they really are travelling to the North Pole to hang out with Santa and take some photos. The experience is in an ante room made to look and behave like an elevator that has windows to see outside. Kids and parents “travel” to the North Pole, and are admitted into a room where Santa is waiting, surround by windows that are really screens running visuals that suggest the North Pole. They exit through the same faux elevator and the digital journey is done in reverse.
The experience was put together by a Montreal company – I am tempted to type “Of course they’re from that creative/experiential mecca – called Studio Artefact, which specializes in the design and creation of Christmas and holiday decor for malls. I did not know there were companies specializing in this, but the work here is fantastic.
The portfolio page shows some other projects, notably one in a downtown Montreal office tower/mall that uses screens as Christmas ornaments on a giant tree.