Santa Ditches the Sleigh and Flies Coach in Expedia’s Heartwarming Christmas Ad

Donating reward points to St. Jude

Headshot of Tim Nudd

The sleigh is overrated.

Santa Claus ditches it entirely in Expedia's touching Christmas campaign from 180LA, choosing instead to fly coach around the world and ending up at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., where he delivers presents to some very special kids.

As seen in the video below, Santa traveled 19,602 miles over seven days (49.7 hours of flight time), going from the North Pole via Anchorage, Alaska, through Honolulu, Tokyo, Dubai, Paris, Dublin, New York and finally to Memphis, where he hands out gifts—and also donates all the points he earned on flights to St. Jude, which is the selling point here.

"Santa flies around the world every year for children, so we loved the connection of giving him travel points to donate to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," says Vic Walia, senior director of brand marketing at Expedia.

"More people travel during the holidays than any other time of year. We hope this campaign will encourage people to donate their Expedia+ rewards points to St. Jude, considering how quickly they can add up during this busy travel season."

More at and the hashtag #SantaFliesCoach.


Client: Expedia

Spot: "Santa Flies Coach"

Senior Director, Brand Marketing: Vic Walia

Brand Marketing Manager: Jessica Eichner

Media Director: Elizabeth Dorrance

Agency: 180LA

Chief Creative Officer: William Gelner

Creative Directors: Dave Horton, Matthew Woodhams-Roberts

Art Director: Chelsea Cumings

Copywriter: Trey Tyler

Head of Production: Natasha Wellesley

Executive Producer: Erin Goodsell

Producer: Amber Schaefer

Head of Account Management: Chad Bettor

Account Director: Brooke Stites

Account Manager: Mackenzie Walen

Account Coordinator: Chase Pritchett

Production Company: Ghost Robot

Directors: Dave Horton, Nick Bentgen

Director of Photography: Nick Bentgen

Executive Producers: Mark DePace, Zach Mortensen

Editorial Company: Melvin

Editor: Dave Groseclose

Producer: Brian Scharwath

Postproduction Company: Therapy Studios 

Executive Producer: Joe DiSanto, John Ramsay

Senior Producer: Allegra Bartlett

Flame Artist: Wren Waters

Flame Assistant: Geoff Stephenson

Recording Studio: Eleven Sound

Mixer: Ben Freer

Original Music: Human

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.
Publish date: December 4, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT