This past Sunday, as I strolled through the checkout lane in Best Buy in about 42 seconds flat (a feat that had taken between six and eight hours in days of yore), it occurred to me that what Santa Claus really needs is a good marketing overhaul to help rejuvenate the Christmas spirit in these troubled times. Here are 10 steps I would take if my agency was fortunate enough to become Santa's AOR.
1. Start with a rebrand. This whole red, white and green color palette is getting kinda stale. You have to find your brand essence, but adapt it to today's marketplace. Let's get a snazzy logo that encompasses of joy, innovation and global reach and stick it on everything. Worked for Pepsi. Right?
2. Organic reindeer food. Eco is where it's at. And whose better to lead the charge on alternative fuels than someone who has to fly all over the planet in a single night. It'll be a PR windfall for you. And no, it's not knee-jerk reactionary for your brand, Santa. Remember, green is one of your colors.
3. Tighter brand guidelines. Look, I understand you want broad reach, but if your marketing partners are not displaying your image consistently, they are diluting your brand. Every spot on TV has a different Santa in it, which is bound to raise some eyebrows. If kids start thinking your fake at five years old instead of six, well, that's like a 16% loss in market share. A Style Guide and turnkey OEM kit should tighten things up a bit.
4. Behavioral targeting, obviously. Can you think of a better way to separate the naughty from the nice?
5. Get viral. Santa, I'm telling you, if you did a rap video and put it on YouTube, you'd get like a million hits.
6. Get rid of the elves. Let's face it. Nobody likes going to the dentist and Hermey the Misfit Elf kind of screwed things up on the brand association front. I'd recommend replacing the elves with Bratz dolls, cause that's what kids really like nowadays.
7. Develop an iPhone app . Why? Don't ask such silly questions. Just do it.
8. Christmas Eve Twitter. Marketing is a conversation, Fat Man. As you're passing over all those boys and girls houses, give us a snarky little tweet to let us feel the magic. "@Johnny just got a lump of coal" would be retweeted all over the place!
9. Don't forget the metrics. Mrs. Clause is gonna be all over your ass if you don't demonstrate positive ROI. Desperate times call for desperate metrics. Call 'em KPIs if you must (Kid Performance Indicators). Optimizing CPMs (coal lumps per thousand) will reduce operating costs dramatically. Establish how many Gross Reindeer Points (GRPs) you need to reach your audience. (OK, that last one sucked. You think this is easy?)
10. Get a job at Google. It's really the only thing that works anyway (I'm kidding. Fer cyring out loud.)