Carroll Trosclair, public relations professional and former president of two PR and advertising firms, has released an article giving tips about how advertisers can make use of Christmas to increase sales. He writes that advertisers ought to use “contrarian” messages about Christmas to gain people’s attention amidst the huge onslaught of holly jolly commercials.
In particular, he suggests, “Going back to the real meaning of Christmas often works, but requires a delicate touch when trying to sell products such as today’s kid clothing and the latest violent video games.”
The real meaning of Christmas? Which real meaning of Christmas is he talking about? The one in which Christmas is about telling the difference between a toddler’s shoe size and a children’s shoe size while slaying zombies while playing Resident Evil? Hmm. That might make some sense, given that Jesus was purported to have risen from the dead, and had some particular orthopedic issues after having a nail driven through his feet.
Maybe Trosclair was talking about the more ancient meaning of Christmas, linked to the ancient tradition of Krampus, the horned god of Yule. Krampus is currently accused of threatening children with violent spankings, and he has cloven hoofs and a tail – definitely a challenge for clothing design.
Not content to rest with just one piece of awkwardly vague advice, Trosclair comments, “Peace remains a favorite Christmas theme, but now carries political sensitivities.”
Yes, advertisers, you now need to tread carefully, and reconsider, even as you’re pursuing a “contrarian” holiday message, the suggestion that peace is a good thing. After all, you wouldn’t want to offend the Support Our Troops crowd with the idea that shooting people up in the name of Jesus might not be the Reason For The Season.
How can we put the PR back in Christmas? Spell it Cprhristmas, obviously.
Toll the ancient Yultide, Carroll. Toll.