DEUTSCHE BAHN

St. Nicholas surprise

Ah yes, the dear St. Nicks. Those who have known us a bit longer know that this project means a lot to us. A project that is truly near to our heart. It all started quite unspectacularly with a request from the Deutsche Bahn Long Distance unit – that we should prepare a pleasant surprise for its passengers on St. Nicholas' Day (Dec 6th). A band spreading pre-Christmas cheer at the station, along with a few dressed-up St. Nicks handing out chocolate to travellers – this was our first approach.

Today, we're no longer sure what got our thought process spinning. But it started spinning fast and we could no longer refrain from proposing to the customer a bigger idea. What happened then was a bit like in the movies. Our enthusiasm spread to the entire project team and, within a very short time, to the many different departments and hierarchies. Within only six weeks, the course was set; we were able to make the idea become reality within the framework of the rail operations.

On December 6th, 2012, an ICE arrived at 7:09 am. Nothing unusual. But on this particular day, the train had special passengers. Amidst the first sounds of "Santa Claus is coming to town", sung by Max Mutzke and a gospel choir, the train doors opened. Out poured 400 St. Nicks, who moved from the platform into the concourse. On their way, they distributed chocolate to the surprised travellers. A film taken of the event, posted on YouTube the same day, received about 650,000 clicks. And DB garnered a flood of appreciation and recognition.

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