I called Santa last night

I received an email yesterday from my new internet phone company, Vonage. The message contained a picture of a very jolly Santa Claus talking on his phone, with the headline, “Dial *101 from a Vonage line and tell Santa Claus what you want for the Holidays.”

As far as i could tell from the email, there was no catch or marketing component anywhere in the message — just a small mention of their ongoing refer-a-friend promotion at the very bottom. Otherwise, the call was free “between Dec 8 and Christmas 2005.”Very clever, I thought. They’ll lure me into calling the number and then blast me with some sort of up-sell message. There must be something in it for them.Sometime around midnight, curiosity took over, and I reached for the phone. If it really was going to be Santa at the end of the line, the worst-case scenario is that he discovers I’m not one of his people — but there’s no why he’ll be able tell that over the phone, I reasoned.So, I called. And in less than a wintry second, there was Santa’s voice, straight from the North Pole, asking me to leave him a message (courtesy of Vonage) with my Christmas wishes. No ask. No sell. Just a well-executed effort by a company who realized how easy it would be to do something clever this time of year for little to no expense.But it does beg the question, where do all those voicemails go? My bet is that Santa, overwhelmed at this time of year, contracts the good Vonage people in Hoboken, NJ to trascribe all those voicemails and email the wishes to him.

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