Jolly Holiday Lights

on January 20 | in Creative, PM + DSM | by | with No Comments


Many of our friends in Central Iowa have probably heard of Jolly Holiday Lights, Make-A-Wish Iowa’s biggest yearly fundraiser. It’s a drive-through light show that has become a Christmastime tradition for many metro area families. For 20 years, the show was at Water Works Park in the heart of Des Moines, but due to flooding issues it has now moved to a new location.


The biggest challenge about making the move to Adventureland Park in Altoona was making sure people knew about the transition. To help get the word out, PM stepped in. We updated the Jolly Holiday Lights logo and helped create posters and programs for the event. We had a strong PR push as part of this project, and many forms of paid media to raise awareness including outdoor, digital, Facebook, and good old fashioned newspaper ads. In fact, after the first press release went out asking for volunteers, the spots were filled in a matter of days.


The event saw great results regarding traffic, too. Make-A-Wish had a lofty goal of getting 32,000 cars through the show, which was thousands more than any other year. Their high expectations were actually exceeded though, with a final number of 37,000 cars throughout the holiday season.

One challenge Jolly Holiday Lights faced at the new location was traffic flow — at times, it was completely backed up to the interstate. To solve that problem, we helped implement real-time updates on their Facebook page that showed the estimated wait time. That way, people could check how busy it was before leaving their homes.


We also created a video to show exactly what Make-A-Wish Iowa does as an organization. It’s not directly tied to Jolly Holiday Lights, but instead will be used as a flexible piece in many facets of their business.

We are so grateful that we got to work with Make-A-Wish Iowa throughout this holiday season — and that our work went toward such a great cause. Hopefully you made it to Jolly Holiday Lights this year, but if not, consider supporting Iowa children by attending the light show next year!



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