gives the gift of engagement this year

It's an old-fashioned idea - the Holiday Guide. Small town papers have been making money for years doing these kinds of sponsor-driven supplements. As this festive tradition continues online, user-generated features are to be expected, and CanWest Interactive - arguably one of Canada's largest pushers of online content - is trying to bundle it all for Christmas cheer, brought to you by...

CanWest Interactive is adding some interactive treats to this year as part of its annual Holiday Guide, opening up the doors for engagement for its sponsors. Returning sponsor Canada Post, for example, is using the vehicle to get people linking to their site and creating their own stamps in the Holiday Guide’s Create section, which also features ideas for holiday cooking, baking, decorating, and entertaining. Users can create and send Christmas cards in the guide’s Fun & Games section. Other engaging features this year include the Nog Blog, which gets users interacting with CanWest bloggers, online polls, and user-generated recipe ideas, holiday tips and suggestions for travel destinations, to name a few. Current features available for sponsorship include the Photo of the Day, weekly polls and shopping photo gallery. Sponsorship opportunities will also be available for upcoming features such as Best Decorated Home and Best Recipe contests, which encourage users to vote for their favourites.

CanWest Interactive director of marketing Erin O’Neill says Philips, AMEX, and Laura Secord have all signed on for sponsorship opportunities this year, and more will be revealed in the weeks to come. Opportunities for 15-second pre-roll video ads, audio, and mobile ringtones and wallpaper are also in development. The Holiday Guide itself is getting promo through two weekly ads in CanWest’s 11 daily print pubs, links from all 43 online properties, radio spots, search marketing and newsblasts to‘s half a million registered users.

Integration opportunities for advertisers range from category exclusive banners, leaderboards, placeholder ads and advertorial content on the Holiday Guide microsite to brands getting full rotation throughout the network as photo or contest sponsors – which, depending on the deal, estimates anywhere from 250,000 to 2,000,000 impressions. Letters to Santa, of course, are packaged too.