What makes Santa awesome? Well, he’s Santa, and Santa is just awesome, which is why so many marketers are eager to utilize the iconic figure in holiday advertising.
Fun Fact: In the 1930s, Coca-Cola was the first company to popularize Santa in ad campaigns.
But why have we come to know Santa as the obvious holiday marketing choice? I’ve broken the brand of Santa down into four characteristics that we marketers simply can’t resist.
Celebrities can sell anything, right? While that point could be argued for hours, there is no denying that Santa is one of the most successful spokespersons when it comes to selling holiday products. Artists can even alter Santa’s style and characteristics to be more in line with a brand, and consumers still instantly recognize Santa in advertisements.
He resonates with people
Santa embodies qualities of a truly good person. He’s jolly (obviously), generous, hard-working, and kind, among many other traits. Unlike some other celebrities, we can always count on Santa to model good brand values and inspire consumers just by seeing his picture.
He inspires emotion
Whenever I see/think of Santa, I always remember a fond Christmas memory of some sort that brings a smile to my face. The holidays have a special spot in people’s hearts that evokes good emotions, regardless of religious affiliation. Marketers are always looking for that emotional connection to consumers, and the holiday spirit almost always brings positive feelings.
He surrounds himself with brand ambassadors
Word of mouth can be a company’s greatest asset, and Santa surrounds himself with people who always speak highly of him. I mean, Rudolph is the best brand ambassador you could ask for. Santa’s workshop is always hoppin’ with elves and reindeer and more who are eager to spread Santa’s message of joy.
So is Santa the world’s strongest brand? I think there is a solid argument for the positive answer, and seeing Santa in marketing isn’t going away anytime soon. The challenge for marketers (as with any campaign) is discovering how Santa can be used to get consumers to associate the positive emotions of seeing Santa with seeing your brand.
Looking for more branding awesomeness? Check out our blog on why colleges crush branding.