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The Dumb Santa Is a Mean Meme

December 10, 2011

As we enter the holiday season, there is a new meme emerging – the dumb Santa that gets one upped by the clever mom.

I really dislike the plethora of dumb dad commercials that we have seen over the past few years. You know, dumb dad couldn’t do something while the smart wife smiles to camera and tells dad he did a great job.  Since women make a majority of household purchases, this obsequiousness plays well to the female target.

Dad has now taken on the guise of Jolly Saint Nick.

While the “mom is the hero for spending her money” theme has been done and done again, advertisers have generally stayed away from making Santa the butt of jokes.

He has been a hero for bringing gifts and good cheer.  He drank his Coke.  He gave like Santa and saved like Scrooge.  He smiled and was jolly.

Not so this year.  Things are getting desperate.  I have seen at least two campaigns where smart Mom turns the table on poor Santa.  In one spot, she arrogantly drinks his milk while she smirks at a frustrated, despondent Santa who can’t find an empty stocking.  Best Buy is using this template on TV and radio.  A local furniture store is not as nasty, their Santa is just a dummy whose elf has to keep him on track.

Tearing down Santa is a cheap trick.  And it will eventually destroy the myth.

Ironic that advertising, the business that created Santa Claus, with the aid of Thomas Nast, is now tearing him down.  These kinds of trends usually keep getting more severe.  Hey, what did Santa ever do to you?  Leave some coal in your stocking.

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