By  on November 7, 2007

NEW YORK — With a nod to diversity and a message to be who you are, Saks Fifth Avenue is mailing 550,000 copies of its holiday catalogue, "The Great Snowpeople Hunt," this week, and will follow it this month with the offer of a HarperCollins book, "Snowpeople," and the unveiling of its Fifth Avenue holiday windows, all tied together with the same theme.

Besides asking its catalogue readers to correctly identify how many snowpeople are portrayed in the 180-page holiday piece (and enticing them to spend more time with it), Saks will be donating $1 for every guess made, up to $50,000, to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis.

"The snowpeople-for-Christmas concept plays on the idea that people, like snowflakes, are all different, but in some ways are all the same," noted Terron Schaefer, group senior vice president, creative and marketing, at Saks Fifth Avenue.

A Memphis visit paid by Schaefer to Marlo Thomas, daughter of St. Jude's founder Danny Thomas and a friend of Saks Inc. chief executive Stephen Sadove, sealed the deal for the retailer to contribute to the hospital the $1 for each guess submission, as well as $2 of the proceeds for each copy of "Snowpeople" sold.

About 15,000 copies of "Snowpeople" are due to go on sale Nov. 19 exclusively at the 54 Saks Fifth Avenue stores nationwide, and in Saks stores in Dubai and Mexico City, the same day the Fifth Avenue holiday windows are to be unveiled. It is currently available at saks.com. After Jan. 1, HarperCollins will distribute the book worldwide, the first written expressly for Saks Fifth Avenue, according to Schaefer.

Schaefer, who grew up in Buenos Aires, said he always loved the idea of going to Antarctica, as a child, and found the sound of certain places there appealing, such as McMurdo Sound and Montague Island. Hence, "Snowpeople," written by Rick and Ryan Zeeb, and illustrated by Trish Burgio, begins: "From Montague Island to McMurdo Sound, in Lapland, in Greenland and all the world 'round....There's sure to be snowpeople wherever there's snow."

In "The Great Snowpeople Hunt" catalogue, some of the snowpeople are subtly placed, peeking out of a Cole Haan leather slipper or hanging as a tag from a dog's collar; many others are in your face, like a big snowman, glimpsed through a floor-to-ceiling window, or a frosty guy skating past a bottle of Juicy Couture shimmering eau de parfum spray.

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