Christmas and Pop Culture: How Santa Capitalizes on Consumerism
Everybody loves Christmas.
That holiday is one of the most important holidays to exist, celebrated by diverse nations in all parts of the world. It is a period of happiness and festivity – with a sprinkle of chaos. Most often, we get into the Christmas mood right on December 1st – and remain high-spirited until Christmas Day.
But, how did we come to love and cherish Christmas so much? Is there a recipe for his popularity despite the progressive nature of modern society? Let us rephrase that: how did Santa look before he discovered marketing?
Everybody’s Favorite Guy
It is not a coincidence that we mentioned marketing and Santa in the same sentence.
For the society of today, marketing is everything. Promoting products boosts sales, and what does that bring? Well, a lot of things, but most importantly, it brings the need to buy more.
Before the 20th century, society relied on customs to strengthen the cultural heritage of each nation. Although we still do that, we now have more ways to preserve the traditions. Santa is a perfect example of that.
For us, marketing today is an inseparable part of our daily routines. We are so used to commercials that, for the most part, do not even distinguish them from the program that we are watching. Advertisements are not restricted to TVs anymore. Billboards, newspapers, the internet – wherever you go, you will see them. And how is Santa connected with marketing? Well, the two concepts do have something in common – they rely on the people’s attention to remain present.
The correlation between Santa and marketing dates to the beginning of marketing as we know it. Pop culture, an effervescent machine that powers the entire social framework, utilizes Santa as the trigger for the collective spirit. To put it simply, society needs Santa as a bow to tie around the gift box. And Santa needs marketing to remain on the gift wish-list.
Who is the real Santa?
Just like most popular icons in our history, Santa’s real identity remains a mystery.
Questions of his age, profession, location, and general existence have been used as settings for numerous movies and TV shows. Is he a mixture of several traditions and folk stories? Is he a real man living in Finland? No one knows. And for the most part – it does not matter.
Call it a suspension of disbelief, but we all know he does not exist (sorry for the spoiler). Nevertheless, we still watch movies that revolve around him and his potential identity. A mysterious old man that you help on the street, who later is revealed as Santa who gives you a gift back? Classic.
Santa is a cult, an image that is used as an attention-grabber for society. And it is a well-oiled machine that we happily believe in. And we keep asking for more.
More Than Pop Culture
Pop Culture is teeming with Christmas references. At first, we had a holiday genre that focused on holidays in general. However, as movies specifically dealing with Christmas increased in numbers, a new genre emerged. Now, the Christmas genre is present in almost all categories of entertainment.
Films are the most obvious example, but let us not forget music, shows, and games. For example, try thinking of Mariah Carey without singing “All I Want for Christmas”!
When it comes to TV shows, almost all shows must have one episode that happens during Christmas preparations. And it usually airs in December, because the theme provides excellent ratings. The gaming sphere is abundant with Christmas paraphernalia and symbolism as well, including online casinos. Santa is very popular there, and some of the best Christmas-themed slot games can be found here on MoneySlots website. Considering the extent of Santa’s presence in everyday media, it is safe to say – Santa transcended even the popular culture.
Shop, Shop, Shop
After you have seen it in commercials and laughed about it in your favorite show, what is the last thing you are left to do? Well, buy it. Marketing and entertainment have slowly guided us to the most important part of the festive enterprise. Shopping! While classic gift hunting in malls is gradually becoming an archaic activity, people still shop.
As a world that relies on shopping for the continuation of industry, we are used to buying items. We buy things all the time but buying for Santa and Christmas has more prevalence than mundane things.
The season is all about family values, sharing, caring, and big presents. Everyone needs Christmas gifts for their loved ones, even with the chaos that accompanies the shopping. And the chaos that typically ensues has been portrayed in numerous movies. It is not even a Christmas stereotype.
Nevertheless, all that is quickly forgotten once the festivities begin. No one cares about it, as long as the house is full of presents and Santa is coming.