Santa's been through a lot in recent years - the trend away from homes with working chimneys, the rise in electronic home security systems, bad role model accusations by militant nutritionists, relentless charges of paganism from overzealous conservative groups, etc. - but his good and noble spirit has shown through mostly intact. However, this year's crop of commercials featuring Jolly Old Saint Nick has Santa seeing a little bit of red.
We offered him a forum to let his concerns be heard, and he accepted with great gusto and vehemence. Here then, is Adland's exclusive post-Christmas interview with Santa Claus...
Adland: First off, we want to thank you for agreeing to this interview and are honored by your presence. May we call you Santa?
Santa: Santa prefers to be referred to as "Mr. Claus," thank you.
Adland: Mr. Claus. Fine.
Mr. Claus: Ho. Ho. Ho. Santa is just messing with you. "Santa" is fine.
Adland: Oh. Ok. Heh. You had us going for a second there.
Santa: Santa likes to have fun during these interviews. Ho. Ho. Ho.
Adland: Do you always refer to yourself in the third person?
Santa: Well, you're talking in first person plural and there's only one of you here.
Adland: Fair enough. So, word on the street says that you're a bit miffed by the way commercials portrayed you this year...
Santa: Miffed? Santa is downright p*ssed! Santa's PR elves have been working around the clock trying to undo the damage that's been done to Santa's image.
Adland: Would you elaborate?
Santa: That's why Santa is here! So much has changed in the last year. Why, back in 2001, companies held on to and reinforced Santa's traditional and beloved image. Coke did some wonderful work, as always, and Target even made Santa kind of hip in their quirky but fun way - Why, Santa has that special suit adorned with their logo in the trophy room next to Rudolph.
Adland: Rudolph's in your trophy room?
Santa: Sad story. Rudolph was created for Montgomery Ward back in 1939, you know, and ever since they went out of business, well... Rudolph kinda got to hitting the bottle. It soon got out of control and the elves were forced to take him behind the barn and... well, that's another tale for another time.
Adland: We understand. Now, back to this year's crop of commercials...
Santa: Righto. Santa will start off with Radio Shack. Here's some stills...
Adland: Well, it's looks like you're having some vacation fun after the Christmas rush.
Santa: Yeah, but look at that actor they hired to portray Santa! In that first shot, Santa's got a BIF! Santa doesn't have a BIF!
Santa: Butt In Front.
Santa: And the skin! Santa is very upset. Santa would never bare Santa's midriff to the public. Think of the children! Think of the children!
Adland: We see your point.
Santa: Then there's Norelco...
Adland: Seems innocent enough.
Santa: On the surface, yes. But Santa doesn't give razors for Christmas. What a crappy gift - right up there with underwear and socks. Besides, Santa's not into shaving. Contrary to what their jingle says, Santa has found out through personal experience that the chicks dig the facial hair. Ho. Ho. Ho.
Adland: Hmm... Good to know.
Santa: Next up is Sprint PCS...
Santa: Let Santa make this clear - Santa would never get stuck in the chimney. After all this time, believe Santa when Santa says that Santa has perfected the method. However, they did treat Santa with reverence, so Santa's going to let this one slide. There is another factual error in this spot though.
Adland: And that is...?
Santa: Sprint PCS has yet to install cellular antenna towers on the North Pole. Santa could never talk to Mrs. Claus on one of their phones. Ho. Ho. Ho.
Adland: Ahhh.... so the commercial is deceptive?
Santa: Santa is currently in talks with them, but there's a few kinks to be worked out. Global warming's really screwed up the polar ice caps, you know.
Adland: So we've heard. What's next?
Santa: Preparation H. Santa cleaned out an entire strip mine in North Dakota to supply the coal that went into those bastards' stockings.
Santa: They were damn clever too. Santa's lawyers can't touch them, because they set it up as a Mall Santa instead of the real deal. But still, now there are millions of children around the world who now think that Santa suffers from cornhole cankers. Naughty. Naughty. Naughty.
Adland: That's gotta be a real pain in the ass.
Santa: Santa's going to pretend that Santa didn't hear that.
Adland: Sorry. We got caught up in the moment.
Santa: Ho. Ho. Ho. Santa's also going to pretend that Santa didn't find it funny.
Adland: Gotcha. Anyone else on your naughty list?
Santa: One more. Imodium AD.
Adland: Imodium AD!? On Christmas!?
Santa: Santa's really mad at those sons of bitches.
Santa: First off, they use the old stuck-in-the-chimney bit, which Santa's growing accustomed to, but then they go and make it so that somehow the reason that Santa's stuck in the chimney is because Santa's got diarrhea. Diarrhea!!
Santa: First off, Santa doesn't understand why diarrhea would get Santa stuck in the chimney, but the big thing is diarrhea. Diarrhea! Santa doesn't get diarrhea! Santa is on a special high-calorie, high-fiber diet. Diarrhea is out of the question! Santa would like to state, unequivocally and for the record, that Santa is no hosenscheisser.
Adland: But what about all those milk and cookies?
Santa: The children's woefully-disillusioned parents scarf them up before Santa can get to them. And on the rare occasion where the cookies and milk are still there, the milk is already warm, so Santa pours it down their kitchen sink. And the cookies? Santa gives 'em to the reindeer. After all, they're doing all the real work.
Adland: That's very kind of you.
Santa: Ho. Ho. Ho. Have you seen the price of Reindeer Chow lately? In today's economy, Santa's got to save money wherever Santa can. Besides, they really like 'em. Especially those Pepperidge Farm Brussles and Milano cookies. Can't get enough of 'em. Ho. Ho. Ho.
Adland: Well, this has certainly been a fascinating interview, what with you being fictitious and all. Do you have any final words for our fellow adgrunts?
Santa: Yes. Yes Santa does. Be nice to Santa, and Santa will be nice to you. No more commercials showing Santa with the trots, or Santa with indigestion, or Santa with girth issues, or Santa having any other type of medical or digestive condition, or Santa being duped by naughty children, or Santa turning a blind eye to sweatshops - Santa's elves are union and very well paid. Santa's one of the last surviving positive, kind and heartwarming things in today's crazy, messed-up world. Don't f*ck with Santa.
Adland: Well said. Thanks for the interview, Santa.
Santa: Ho. Ho. Ho. No, thank you. This has taken a lot off of Santa's chest. Hopefully, next year Santa won't have to do this again.