9 cool ways to modernize Santa’s personal brand

Fun fact:

Santa is the world’s 2nd most recognizable character, right after Mickey Mouse. (Go Santa!)
Just for fun, what if we updated Santa’s personal brand for 2020, with a bit of irreverent zest?
Let’s find out…


Santa Claus has a fascinating personal brand.

But… could it be outdated?

What would happen if the Santa Claus marketing team hired an ad agency to update the Christmas brand?

Read on to find out which classic traditions are supposedly “improved” through modern marketing!

(Quick tip: Use these ideas as conversational nuggets for your holiday cocktail party!)


MEMO TO: The Santa Claus marketing team

Hello team, great to see you all at North Pole headquarters last week.

As promised, we’ve pulled together a list of ideas to improve Christmas marketing.

1. We need cooler jingles: Too many of our jingles (a.k.a. “Christmas carols”) are outdated.

Solution: Update content with fresher topics. For instance: “They grow up so fast. This Christmas at home, next Christmas out on their own.”

2. Modernize spokesperson image: Parental groups are complaining that Santa is a poor role model, because of his obesity and pipe smoking.

Solution: Consider partnering with CrossFit or the Whole30 company for a “before/after” campaign with Santa.

3. Improve Santa’s Google search results: Consumers are searching online for Santa under too many different search terms (St. Nicholas, Old Saint Nick, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, etc.).

Solution: Focus all SEO on “Santa.” Cut jargon such as ‘Twas, ‘Tis, O’, and Yon.

4. Attract the Millennial demographic: We’re losing market share to competitors such as Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. Christmas holds a leadership position with two billion consumers, but trending downward. To expand the Christmas brand, start by increasing appeal to unreached segments.

Solution: Introduce eggnog laced with hand-crafted, small-batch spirits to attract more Millennials.

5. Avoid protests: Animal-rights bloggers could protest reindeer mistreatment, since our reindeer activity continues longer than 8 hours on Christmas Eve.

Solution: Check with the legal dept. and argue that overtime doesn’t count across multiple time zones.

6. Introduce a Santa sidekick: Other iconic characters have some sort of sidekick. For instance, Jolly Green Giant had Sprout. Scooby Doo had Scrappy Doo. Dr. Evil had Mini-Me.

Solution: What kind of lil’ sidekick can we cast with Santa? (Note: The media department says we could broaden demographic appeal by casting taller elves.)

7. Elf labor: Hourly employee overhead is rising.

Solution: No more written lists from kids or in-person appearances from Santa. The Christmas list database is going digital.

8. Merge with another holiday: December calendar is too cluttered. We need to stand out!

Solution: Co-brand a holiday with Winter Solstice, so it’s a twofer holiday. (Do we have the budget to acquire New Year’s Eve?)

9. Christmas vs. Birthday: Santa is losing retail sales to birthday gifts throughout the year. This needs to stop.

Solution: Stir up some buzz by taking on the competition directly with a iPhone vs. Android approach… Christmas vs. Birthday.

In closing…

Thank you, Santa marketing team, for inviting us to share our ideas. Looking forward to your feedback next month at the annual retreat in Cancun.


Acme Marketing Company


(Now of course, this is all in good fun. You know how Sally says, “You don’t need to CHANGE who you are, you need to become MORE of who you are.” Santa doesn’t need to change. But it’s fun to play with his personal brand!)

What’s your favorite suggestion here? Tell us below in the comments!

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About the author

Sally Hogshead

Sally skyrocketed to the top of the advertising world in her early 20s, fascinating millions of consumers for clients such as MINI Cooper and Coca-Cola. Since then, she’s published two New York Times bestsellers on the science of fascination, and is one of only 172 living members in the Speaker Hall of Fame. Over a million professionals have taken the Fascination Advantage® personality test to discover how others perceive their communication.

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