'Tis the Season to Add Spin!

By Kerry Cue

Imagine modern life moved back 2000 years. And two marketing consultants are brought in to promote the very first Christmas? I suspect their first meeting would go somehting like this:

'We need a spin on the story for the media release.'

'I like Tragic IVF family flees home due to ethnic cleansing.'

'No. No. That's so-o been done. We need a fun angle like 'Do-It-Yourself Donkey Trek Adventure for all the family with rustic farm accommodation. That way we can tie in with a holiday infotainment program like a 'Get Away in the Manger' special. The births a bit of a problem though. It doesn't really fit the sun and sandals adventure image.'

'I was thinking more along the lines of a renovation program like Bethlehem Blitz. Check this out. Poor couple. About to give birth in a barn. We bring in a team. Renovate the barn. Get the father - what's his name?' - Joseph- get him.... He's not the father? What? He's the step- father. Doesn't anyone live with their biological parents any more? Anyway, we'll get Joseph to build his own crib. He's a carpenter by trade. Maybe we'll get a Swedish furniture sponsor. 'Need a crib in hurry' sort of promo with a loft bed for the parents. What do you think?'

'That's good. We need sponsors. But what about merchandising. I think we could probably bring in a Sports Shoe manufacturer with a Nazarian Sandal. We need a takeaway food promotion. I think we could get a pizza chain interested with the home delivery angle.'

' I've got it. We'll get the 3 Kings to deliver the pizza live on tellie!!!'

'Otherwise, the Kings can do the frankincense and myrrh thing and we'll just market a range of 3 Kings herbs and spices'

'Then there are the 'It's a boy child' helium balloons available at www.joytotheworld.com.'

'Music?'

'Let me see. Hold on. I've already lined up the Herald Angels to do a CD. But they'll need a big name with them. I thought Tom Jones. More sex appeal than angels. And their high voices. Really. They're like the Bee Gees.'

'Have you got the song with all the fra-la-la-ing in it.'

'Um. Deck the Halls.'.

'Yeah. That one. It'll appeal to the gay market. I remember it as a kid. About the third line it goes 'Don we now our gay apparel'. How good is that? And you'll love this, I've arranged with the Drummer Boy to up tempo his ra-pa-pa-poms. He's going techno. Drum Storm Zero. Zero's the date. Smart, eh!'.

'Toys. What's happening?'

'Well. We've had a bit of trouble with Nick.'

'Nick who?'

'St Nick. You know. Calls himself Santa. He reckons he has the world toy franchise. I don't know how he got it. But don't worry. He can market the figurines. Let me see. We've got a Pontious Pilot Action figure.'

'What's he got to do with it?'

'Not much. But we need an action figure for boys, that kills and maims. The girls are OK. We've got Virgin Barbie with accessories. And you won't believe this, one of the big mobile phone networks have heard about this event. They've provided all the shepherds in the district and the father with mobile phones. The idea is Joseph beats the angels. Rings everyone. Free advertising for their new phone. The Noel 101.'

'Some people... '.

'The good news is the big market will be in T-shirts. We've got Peace to the Max, Joy Happens and Goodwill Baby.'

'Great.'

This scenario is not too hard to imagine at all. Yet the message would be the same. Peace. Joy. Goodwill. It is one of the ironies of modern life, that in an Information Revolution, the simplest messages seem to be the ones that get lost.