A holiday-season gimmick.

Update (12/12): USPS has decided to keep the Spongebob mailboxes out until June, weather and damage permitting. The Spongebob postcards will be limited-time only. 

This holiday season, the indebted United States Postal Service is trying a novel trick to convince kids to send actual letters.

USPS recently partnered with Nickelodeon to create "SpongeBob Mailpants." From now until January 4, SpongeBob will show up on mailboxes in 13 cities: Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Orlando, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Hollywood, Florida.

Free, postage-paid SpongeBob postcards will also be available at more than 25,000 post offices around the country. 

Curious how a transformation occurs? Watch this: 

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