Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Glico's Asian Santa Campaign

All images from Glico.

My mother once took a part-time job as a Santa in a mall. She was chubby enough and was willing to seat children on her lap and pretend to be jolly for a month or so. She told me that most kids weren't paying heed because the beard and outfit masked her female features sufficiently, but some did notice mainly because of her hands being too small and tapered to be man-hands. In America, anyone can be Santa.

Asian Santa takes a selfie.

Glico is promoting its line of children's biscuits called "Bisco" using what it refers to as an "Asian Santa". It's interesting not because they're using a Christmas theme to sell cookies to kids, but because of the way they talk about the Santa. In the U.S., we would never specifically refer to Santa as being a particular ethnicity. It would be considered racist. I think that the reason Glico is specifying that this is an Asian Santa is because kids can write to him in Japanese and he can answer in their language. I've had students in the past talk about how, when they were kids, they were worried that Santa only understood English so they didn't write letters to him.

He's not only certified, but he's up on current events!

Besides being capable of dealing with kids in their native language (and selling them Bisco cookies), Glico's Santa is a "certified/licensed" Santa impersonator. It is very important that fake Santas be qualified to do their job. My mother didn't have such qualifications. That may be why she didn't get to go back again the following year. 

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