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A Behaviorally Targeted Secret Santa

We’re doing an interesting variation on Secret Santa in our group this year, that you might enjoy too.

Background: we do behavioral targeting in my group. We get anonymous data about web surfers and try and try and make sure that those people are shown banner ads that are actually applicable to them, but we never know WHO, and thus…

A behaviorally targeted Secret Santa. Each participant submits a list of 3-5 items they’ve recently purchased (online or off) and are comfortable sharing to the coordinator. Then, instead of drawing names from a hat, each participant draws a an anonymous list of recent purchase with a participant number and has to try and buy a gift they think appropriate based on that for under $20.

When it’s time to exchange gifts, everyone gets together and the participant numbers on the lists are matched up with the humans and gifts are exchanged. I’m sure we’ll probably read off the items on the list we got and everyone will try and guess who’s list it was before the reveal and exchange.

I like it. I speak with a bunch of my coworkers but I’d be totally stumped as to what to get some of them. Give me a list of things they’ve recently purchased and I think I’d be able to do a pretty fair job though.

I think it’s a good idea that would work well in just about any group, and will probably result in presents that are going to be enjoyed even more by the recipients. If you try it in your group drop me a note and let me know how it went.

P.S. I’m thinking it would help if when you made your list you included links to descriptions of the items online, even if you didn’t purchase them online.