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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Saks Holiday Campaign: Elton John AIDS Foundation

Entered in Multi-Platform Campaign


Each year, Saks Fifth Avenue partners with icons and notable talents for our annual holiday campaign and window unveiling to inspire a cultural movement, engage customers and drive traffic to and Saks Fifth Avenue stores, while giving back to and raising awareness of a worthy cause. We set out to create a partnership that aligned with Saks’ values and bolstered the relevance of our strong brand, selecting the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) because Sir Elton John shares not only our passion for self expression through creativity and fashion, but also our commitment to giving back. 

By sharing this meaningful campaign across the full Saks Fifth Avenue ecosystem, we aimed to engage with our customers through this unique experience and inspire them to give back. Sir Elton John also has a following of supporters who share his interest in fashion. Our partnership gave us the opportunity to engage these potential customers and share the fashion inspiration and discovery we provide at Saks. 

Strategy and Execution

For Saks’ 2022 holiday campaign, we executed an integrated partnership supporting the Elton John AIDS Foundation's (EJAF) Rocket Fund across platforms including: Saks social media channels, our interactive live commerce platform Saks Live, and our mobile app, in-person at the Saks Fifth Avenue New York Flagship store and more.

Specifically, we featured a curated multi-vendor merchandise collection on and in stores, dedicated holiday window displays at the New York Flagship, multiple Saks Live events, and editorial content across our digital platforms. Customers were able to shop the collection and learn more about the partnership in The Edit, the Saks editorial hub for fashion news and style inspiration. Our partnership also included a $1 million donation to EJAF's Rocket Fund.

We celebrated the campaign with the iconic holiday light show and window unveiling at the New York Flagship, featuring a special performance of "Your Song" by Sir Elton John. Viewers across the globe were able to experience the window unveiling and momentous appearance by Sir Elton John via Saks Live

The collection was co-curated by Saks and Sir Elton John and featured products across all categories including women's and men's ready-to-wear, accessories, kids, beauty and home. More than 60 designers participated including Gucci, Versace, Valentino, Wales Bonner, Jonathan Adler, Jason Wu, Paco Rabanne and more. Saks’ $1 million donation to EJAF's Rocket Fund included $500,000 of proceeds from the multi-vendor merchandise collection, regardless of sales. We showcased looks from the collection with three dedicated windows on 50th Street at the New York Flagship. Gucci, who is Sir Elton John's exclusive costume designer for his final tour, Farewell Yellow Brick Road, had a bespoke window featuring archival Gucci looks that could only be seen at Saks Fifth Avenue including custom-made suits for Sir Elton John. 

Both Sir Elton John and David Furnish, Chairman of EJAF and CEO of Rocket Entertainment Group, participated in Saks Live events discussing the Foundation's mission, the importance of giving back during the holiday season and their collaboration with Saks. These Saks Live events featured Versace's Chief Creative Officer, Donatella Versace and Gucci's former Creative Director, Alessandro Michele. 

Throughout the holiday season, we brought a newly designed light show to the New York Flagship. For the first time ever, the iconic Saks light show had dynamic lighting displays that illuminated from within the windows and coordinated with the light show on the building's facade. With new LEDs and over 600,000 individual points of light, the experience was more colorful, vibrant and immersive than ever before. The nightly light show featured a holiday medley of Elton John songs including "Step into Christmas," "Cold Heart PNAU Remix," "Your Song" and "Merry Christmas." 

Additionally, our legendary holiday windows on Fifth Avenue were inspired both by the theme of heartwarming holiday gifts from years past and the partnership with EJAF. The whimsy and brilliant colors of the windows and the nostalgic games – including rocket ships and kaleidoscopes – were a nod to Sir Elton John's joyous personality.


Our partnership with the Elton John AIDS Foundation for our iconic holiday campaign and window unveiling delivered a culturally-influential and news-worthy spectacle. An estimated 400K visitors came to experience our holiday windows and light show on Fifth Avenue throughout the holiday season and four million had eyes on our campaign content across Saks social media channels. We broke the record for the most-liked Saks Instagram post of all time, with a post in collaboration with Sir Elton John following the window unveiling receiving 36.7K likes, in addition to getting exposure to Sir Elton John’s 4.4M followers and Saks’ 2.1M followers. Our TikTok featuring Sir Elton John playing “this-or-that” also turned out to be one of our highest viewed videos ever. The campaign received approximately 7 billion media impressions. Our Saks Live Holiday Show video received 36K views, driving 36% of our total Saks Live traffic during the holiday season. Additionally, the cross-channel campaign drove nearly 30K visits to


Video for Saks Holiday Campaign: Elton John AIDS Foundation

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Saks Fifth Avenue