Change the stitching on your stockings, Photoshop your family greeting cards, get your tree ornaments replaced and change the “To:” name on your year-end wish list – Santa Claus is now SantiClaus.
Claus, who toiled in relative obscurity as early as the fourth century under the name Saint Nicholas of Myra, gained regional acclaim with Germanic and Dutch Christians before topping the charts in the U.K. during the 17th century with Father Christmas. Following up with his French-only underground mixtape Pere Noel, Claus achieved dominance over Europe.
In 1823, he penetrated the critical American market with “A Visit From St. Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas).” Widespread acclaim followed, though it soon came to light that as a struggling artist, Claus had repeatedly sold the rights to his name, likeness and intellectual property to various organizations and entities to keep himself afloat early in his career. Mired with legal difficulties, he had no choice but to officially separate himself from the identities of St. Nicholas and Father Christmas, re-inventing himself as an unpronounceable symbol. When that proved difficult for his fans to embrace and his immediate follow-up tanked, he re-established himself favorably as Santa Claus in 1902.
A sponsorship with The Coca-Cola Company in the 1930s cemented Santa Claus in the minds of the public in developed nations worldwide. Under Claus’ flagship company, No’ Pole Productions, retail merchandise, fast-food tie-ins and lucrative greeting card deals soon followed. However, scandal found Claus when he bluntly commented to the press that his popularity had eclipsed that of Jesus. Though he later stated he was merely issuing an observation, not making a boastful statement, it didn’t prevent fans from erupting in a riotous orgy of Claus-hating and public demonstration – which included hanging him in effigy and the mass burning of their Claus-related wares. He subsequently disappeared from the public eye, emerging only years later for a one-time performance which would become known as “Claus’ ’58 Comeback Special.”
Even as his career started to soar again, he suffered yet another setback when paparazzi snapped pics of him in compromising positions with a young child’s mother — under a Christmas tree. In keeping with the times however, a self-deprecating apology on “The Tonight Show” earned fans’ forgiveness, and they continued their affair with this lovable underdog.
More popular than ever, Claus was equipped with the crucial springboard he needed to instigate assimilation in second and third-world countries. Eventually, Adweek recognized Santa Claus as the number-one most recognized brand on the planet, outpacing such notable rivals as Apple, IBM, the nation of China and even Bono. However, his devotion to global dominance left his long-established fanbase feeling largely ignored. Crying foul of his activity, they claimed he had “sold out” and become “too commercial.”
SantiClaus is remaining tight-lipped on whether or not this backlash had anything to do with his recent moniker modification, stating only “I have not forgotten where I come from and who made what I am today. Keeping it real is what SantiClaus is all about – ya heard?”
Rumors that SantiClaus has been tapped to open select dates for Coldplay on their upcoming tour remain unconfirmed at this time.