Vyve Broadband is starting early with preparations for the Christmas holiday—and it’s asking children ages 3-12 for help. The cable and broadband distributor has launched a nationwide contest for a chance to create Vyve’s annual Christmas card, and win an iPad Mini to boot. Kids from anywhere in Vyve’s markets across the country can submit a drawing that best captures “the spirit of Christmas.”

It’s a clever branding idea with a fun origin story. “One of our technicians in McAlester, Okla., shared a drawing his young daughter did when she decided Vyve needed a mascot,” said svp of marketing & customer experience Diane Quennoz. “She ended up drawing, of all things, a yellow Vyve emu! It was adorable and it got me thinking about how creative kids can be. From there, it was a matter of finding the right opportunity to share that creativity, and we felt the Christmas card was perfect.”

From a business perspective, the idea is to continue to emphasize that Vyve is local. “We don’t just do business in our communities, we become part of them, and that is really what this is about. There’s no pitch. There’s no coupon attached,” Quennoz said. Moreover, you don’t have to be the child of a Vyve customer to enter. “We want to engage with our communities in ways that let them know we are invested in them as neighbors, not just providers.”

One detail that’s likely to drive home that local flavor Vyve is seeking to communicate—while simultaneously enhancing subscribers’ perception of customer service—is the fact that its technicians will be armed with entry forms in customers’ homes. “Our technicians are members of our communities and are often the ones with the most direct contact with our customers, so it seemed like a natural fit that they would help spread the word,” Quennoz said. “If they’re doing an install, they’ll have the flyer and submission form handy so a child at that home can create something right then.” There’s no hard push, though. “We’re not asking them to meet a quota, but just to be aware when the opportunity is there.”

Here’s how a child enters: through participating schools, Vyve broadband retail stores or Vyve technicians. Entry forms can also be downloaded here. Then they can be dropped off at the retail offices, emailed to art@Vyvebb.com or mailed directly to the Vyve office in Shawnee, OK, by November 9.

If there is a school involved with the submission, the winning school will get a “cookies & cocoa” party and a $200 gift card to purchase art supplies at a local craft store. Finalists are announced the week of Thanksgiving and the winner—whose artwork will be reviewed by Vyve’s NY-based ad agency—will be announced in early December.

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