Domino's Japan testing reindeer for pizza delivery.

Companies around the world will go to just about any extreme these days in order to connect their corporate image/message to Christmas time. So let’s talk reindeer, shall we? No, not the Rudy who has saved Christmas every year since 1964’s stop-motion classic Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. These reindeer are the real thing, and if the trial period works out, they are going to be delivering Domino’s pepperoni pizza in Japan.

The test period is underway in the city of Ishikari in Hokkaido, in northern Japan. Fox News mentions that delivery tests are being overseen by animal trainers, and the trials are being conducted on the grounds of a driving school.

This being Japan, there’s an app involved here. These reindeer-powered sleighs will utilize the company’s GPS Driver Tracker, which lets hungry customers watch delivery people in real time when they’re en route. Check out the app in the video — the icons on the map will change to reindeer, natch, beginning in December.

According to Mashable, besides the attempt to connect Kris Kringle with pizza (maybe that’s what he eats in the sleigh — it’s a long flight) there’s a practical consideration here. Reindeer can get through heavy snow conditions where the typical car or bicycle can’t.

Domino’s is determined to explore any and all avenues in order to deliver their product. Back in March, the world’s second largest pizzamaker tested out pizza delivery drones. We’ll see how this goes over in Japan, but somehow it just doesn’t seem practical for the wider open spaces of the United States where the winter climate is much more diverse. Reindeer in Miami, for example. And there’s word yet from animal rights groups just yet. One final thought — how do you tip these delivery animals? Carrots?

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