A rendering of Milan's Christmas tree sponsored by Pandora.


Copenhagen-based jeweler Pandora won Milan’s annual bid to sponsor the city’s Christmas tree with a project called “La gioia del donare,” or “The joy of giving.” Presented in a press preview on Nov. 8, the program will intertwine traditional components, social elements, charity features and sustainability.

Called “Joy,” the tree will overlook the Piazza del Duomo, right next to the iconic cathedral, from Dec. 7 to Jan. 6. The 92-foot-tall spruce pine will be embellished with 3.7 miles of white LED lights and tree decorations in the traditional tones of red, white and silver.

Featuring Pandora’s and the Milan municipality’s logos, the red-covered base will serve as a backdrop for a glass, transparent installation. This will include a small reproduction of the tree for locals and tourists to take pictures beside. The doppelgänger tree is one of the social gimmicks presented by the company to create media buzz and engagement with the audience. In fact, if shared with the specific hashtag #LaGioiaDelDonare, the images taken in the installation will be printed, offered to the people in customized greeting cards and immediately displayed through one of the two screens that will be positioned at the side of the tree.

In addition, citizens and tourists will be interviewed on location regarding the meaning of Christmas. The video contributions, which will be collected from Dec. 8 to 15, will be then edited to realize a specific Pandora commercial, broadcast during the holiday season both on TV and web channels.

In an attempt to further push participation and replicate the successful format of other international cities, a special event will also be held on Dec. 7 to celebrate the first lighting of the tree. Dancers on stilts and a choir of 50 children are expected to perform during the night.

In line with the theme chosen, Pandora wanted to help and promote a series of charities this year. Thanks to the collaboration with the CAF association, which focuses on supporting children and families, the brand made donations to different philanthropic institutions, all focused on purchasing Christmas gifts for children in need. Among these, a special mention went to the children affected by the earthquake that hit the Italian city of Amatrice on August 24.

On a sustainable note, once the holiday season is over, the company will give the tree to another charity, which will transform the pine’s wood into furniture and decorative elements destined for schools and the city of Milan.

Former sponsors of the Christmas tree include Tiffany & Co., the logistics giant DHL and the Milanese confectionery company Motta, among others.

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