The most important PR person is, of course, Santa Claus himself.
His appearance is the result of careful planning and coordination. A group of copywriters and designers were involved in crafting the Santa Claus character decades ago.
The real Santa Claus has to be ”friendly, personal, and jolly. Mrs. Claus had to be warm and gentle, not queenly. Elves had to be joyful, positive fairytale-like.” (Advertising agency materials 16.10.1985). This is how materializing the myth starts to evolve.
Materalizing the Myth of Santa Claus
The work of materializing the myth into a socio-material market network involves intellectual property, imagining, discussing,
proposing, negotiating and contracting among a range of different businesses (Palo, Mason & Roscoe 2018).
Throughout the history of the Santa Claus business, collaboration has been the key. This consists of; collective branding, storytelling, and assembling of the Christmas experience.
First look at the nature of myths.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a myth is: “a traditional story, typically involving supernatural beings or forces, which embodies and provides an explanation, aetiology, or justification for something such as the early history of a society, a religious belief or ritual, or a natural phenomenon.”
Stories, including myths, are central not only in societies, but also in organizational life (see, e.g., Bowles, 1989, 1997):
“myths and fairy tales are retold and reused in popular culture, including the culture of management. What is more, popular culture shapes and influences everyday practices, including practices of organizing” (Czarniawska, 2004, p.viii).
Christmas and the extraordinary myth of Santa Claus have enormous economic and social significance (Cluley,
2011; Hancock & Rehn, 2011).
The Santa myth is used by businesses across the Western world to create an annual festival of shopping at a time of year when people expect to spend money (Thompson & Hickey, 1989; Miller,1993).
Santa Claus and Seasonal Marketing
Santa is perhaps the one staple on Christmas products, and there are few advertisers who wouldn’t pay to use Santa on their products. Santa could command big money from companies.
Most retailers and small businesses rely on Christmas sales to give their finances that much needed final push through to the end of the financial year but not all businesses have the financial clout to hire additional staff or financially able to consult on a seasonal marketing campaign to see how to improve the. Coca-Cola has a history of associating itself with Christmas and Santa Claus so much so that the company has an FAQ page for “Did Coca-Cola create Santa Claus? A company like Coca-Cola spends $3.3 billion each year on advertising and no doubt has a team of specialists with an emphasis on the Christmas season at their disposal.
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Coca-Cola jumped on the most effective marketing technique ever – selling happiness. Santa’s image is a big part of their seasonal marketing. Celebrities have the ability to influence customers to buy products – who, honestly, is going to buy anything Christmassy that doesn’t have some kind of link to Santa Claus?
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