Creative agency The Public House has put the merchant shop windows of its city centre offices to good use this Christmas. If you’re walking down Dublin’s Castle Street, you’ll find it hard to miss the the re-engineered Santa perched in the window of number four.
If an agency were trying to get Santa sold through in 2018, it’s unlikely an elderly man who gorges on cookies and commands an army of elf labourers would be deemed an appropriate Christmas icon... The Public House has visualised some of the possible feedback our favourite fella might be subjected to if he was rebranded and co-created in this day and age.
The left side of the window is a collage of the suggested changes from a hypothetical committee. Suggestions like: “Designer glasses could be cool”, “Could his beard be more disruptive?”, and “Could he be sipping organic almond milk instead?”
The resulting portrayal, by Dublin illustrator Lauren O’Neill, aims to show passersby what Santa would look like had his creation been impacted by focus groups and an unfettered steering committee of opinions. A quick Instagram story poll revealed that not everyone found Santa 2.0 to be an atrocity, with a few cat-calling him for being a silver fox.
Public House creative director Jarrod Banadyga says: “They say a camel is a horse designed by committee, and we wanted to see what the camel version of Santa would be. And while co-creation is something that is increasingly common in how we work with clients, we think it should be off limits for something as sacred as Santa.”
The Dublin-based creative agency has grabbed headlines in the past for its “GO HOME IRISH” recruitment campaign luring Irish ad people back from other markets, as well as The Public House Failed Pitch Emporium, which saw them selling failed pitch thinking on Ebay. Their belief that “Boring Doesn’t Sell” has resonated with their roster of clients like Jameson, Cadbury, Paddy Power, EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum, 123.ie, and others.