He travels around the world yet spends virtually nothing on airfare. He runs his own business and affords a luxurious picturesque home, yet primarily works pro bono. As one of the advertising industry’s premier spokesmen, his gray beard is universally recognizable.
Who is this mystery man of whom I speak? Is he the Most Interesting Man in the World? Close, but the individual I’m describing knows no such brand loyalty; while the Dos Equis man sticks to, well, Dos Equis, this other individual can often be seen schilling for any number of brands, including fierce rivals and competitors.
I’m talking of course about the one and only Santa Claus.
Jolly St. Nick’s knack for speaking on behalf of a brand knows no bounds. One minute you may seem him sipping a Pepsi while perusing Circuit City and the next he’s enjoying a bottle of Coca-Cola Classic while wandering through a Best Buy.
It’s easy to understand Kris Kringle’s advertising appeal; he’s probably the cheapest, most credible spokesperson a brand can nab around this time of year. While the complaining about the over-commercialization of Christmas and the holiday season is nothing new, you can’t say that the man in the red suit has lost any of his charm or genuineness, no matter how many brands he throws his support behind.
Try to tell me that the mere sight of his gray beard and rosy cheeks in this Coke commercial doesn’t immediately bring about a sense of trust and care.
What’s most interesting is the fact that Santa isn’t out there promoting just games, toys and other products for children; he’s getting the attention of adults (read: purchasers) too.
From Target to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Mr. Claus continues to evoke the same warm feelings and honest cheer from adults as he does from children. It’s St. Nick’s ageless allure that makes him the merriest mouthpiece for any brand looking to cash in on the holiday season. Of course, he has had a few misses…