The Social Networking Christmas Tree

Canada is taking social networking sites to a whole new dimension — one in the shape of a Christmas tree, that is.
The 30-foot Christmas tree is lit by 3,100 lights but the lights aren’t the main attraction. The lights flash white, green, red and blue each colored coded to mean different things.

According to, when the lights flash white it means that “Twitter and Facebook are humming with Christmas chatter.”

The green lights mean Christmas is being mentioned in the news, red means blogs are “abuzz with yuletide musings” and the blue lights, along with flashes from a strobe light, means people are posting comments at the Christmas tree’s websiteor are sending text messages to 70734.

The website features live video streaming of those paying a visit to the tree located in Canada’s Union Station in Toronto.

Tribal DDB, an advertising agency focusing on digital advertising, was behind the idea of the Christmas spirit tree. reported that Ryan Lawrence, a copywriter, came up with the idea of using Canadian Tire, a lead vendor of Christmas lights in Canada, and social media to “capture the joy and wonder of Christmas, and having web comments about Christmas light up a Christmas tree seemed like a magical way to do it.”

Any post with the words Santa, holiday, merry, gift, time and/or year make the Christmas tree come to life.

But how does the process work? Tribal DDB hired Sysomos, a company that monitors social media, to “filter the comments, ensuring that only positive comments are included and the right lights are tripped at the right time…”

The tree is placed on top of a stage with monitors displaying the filtered comments and where on the Canadian map they are coming from.

If that’s not brilliant enough, the way the brightness of the lights are measured is. The more Christmas messages being shared a minute reflects on how bright the tree will shine. So, according to, “when online sharing is at its highest, the tree will shine its brightest.”

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