Before the days of WalMart, Home Depot and other big box stores most of us watched our parents buy strands of Christmas lights from Canadian Tire to gracefully outline the silhouettes of our houses. Times have changed, but Canadian Tire is still there to supply us with illuminated Christmas spirit; and in 2011 the iconic Canadian brand is helping to light up the Grand Hall of Toronto’s Union Station thanks to the power of mobile and social media.
The Canadian Tire Christmas Spirit Tree is a state-of-the-art 30 foot tall installation consisting of 3000 LED lights powered by the positive messages of Christmas spirit being exchanged on Facebook, Twitter and posts to ChristmasSpiritTree.ca. The white lights represent social networks like Facebook and Twitter, red lights represent posts on blogs and forums, green lights represent news articles and blue lights represent the messages posted at the ChristmasTreeSpirit.ca website.
But apparently it’s even cooler than that. Our favorite (we use it at Delvinia) social media monitoring platform, Sysomos, is used to track a number of holiday keywords including “reindeer” and “elf”. The light bulbs then react to the data, shining brighter or dimmer according to the sentiment of the messages.
The Canadian Tire Christmas Spirit Tree is on display in-person at Toronto’s Union Station and on a live video stream at ChristmasTreeSpirit.ca from December 12-26 from 6am to midnight. There are floor mat ads and column advertising in the lower GO concourse directing commuters upstairs to the Grand Hall to view the tree in person.
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