What's Inside Your Mailbox? A Gift From A Stranger

A goodwill initiative from Happiness Brussels reminds me of SapientNitro's Great Twitter Secret Santa campaign from last year. The campaign matched a Twitter user with someone they follow on Twitter who also follows them. Since most tweeters don't always know their followers personally, this campaign served to make the online relationship closer through a gift exchange.

Similarly, Happiness Brussels paired people worldwide with complete strangers for a little gifting action. Imagine receiving a holiday package from someone in Miami, when you live in Brazil and don't know anyone who lives in Miami. Would you be skeptical? I probably would.

Gift a Stranger uses Google's Reverse Geocoding to pair a person with a total stranger across the globe.

Participants enter their name, address, the gift they're sending, plus a picture, and Google reverse geocoding does the rest.

Gift givers have the option to reject an address generated by Google in favor of another location, assuming some participants want to limit what they spend on shipping a gift or simply want to send something anonymously on a local level.

Visits to the Web site show a Google Map that outlines where packages were sent, where they came from, and pictures of  the gifts.

More than 500 presents were sent this holiday season to Saudi Arabia, Egypt, France, Germany, Unites States, Jamaica and Africa.

I love the idea of brightening a person's Christmas and wonder if a 2.0 version of Gift a Stranger could somehow be integrated with sending gifts to various local charities worldwide? That way, senders could be helping a cause and perhaps nearby residents.

Tags: ad campaign
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