Deutsche Bahn wanted to focus on positive emotion in its communications but it had not quite achieved the results it was looking for, especially on social media. At Christmas, that all changed when the brand achieved viral success that instantly enhanced its likeability in the eyes of the German public.


Frankfurt Central Station became the stage for Germany's most unusual Christmas fairytale. On one of the platforms, the digital board indicated that an ICE 612 high speed train would soon be arriving from the North Pole! Then, accompanied by professional singers who had been pretending to be waiting for a train, hundreds of Santa Clauses descended from the polar ICE train to the Christmas classic: Santa Claus is Coming to Town. A gospel choir led by the star soul singer Max Mutzke joined in the singalong as chocolate Santas were handed out to incredulous members of the public in the station and downtown Frankfurt.


A film team with eight cameras captured the spectacle and managed to produce an emotive video within a few hours. The video went live on YouTube that same day and got over 200,000 clicks and thousands of shares in under 12 hours. The campaign was even picked up by TV channels, with RTL and Sat.1 broadcasting the Santa story during their primetime slot.