Insights (Essays)

Insights (Essays) December 2010

How does he do it?

He is grotesquely overweight. He is childless. He lives in the chilly and undesirable North Pole. He insists on dressing in a bright-red jumpsuit with fur trimmings. He can only ever find employment on one day a year, and, even then, it is night work.

On every accepted level, Santa Claus is a total loser.

Yet this is a man who heads up a brand that commands 98 percent global recognition. Furthermore, he is universally adored.

How does he do it?

In a controlled research investigation involving uninterrupted surveillance videotaping, a sustained loop of twinkly music, and state-of-the-art merriness-determination equipment, a Dutch santologist named Hans Bunquum discovered the secret to Claus’s phenomenal success.

“The conclusion is both remarkable and inescapable but also—most importantly—counter-intuitive,” Dr. Bunquum told me over a glass of organic lemonade in his stunning waterstulp, or waterside studio, near Rotterdam. “To become the object of universal love, one must first live with a red-nosed reindeer, and then gain a premier position as the sole registered employer of elves in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s as simple as that.” Malcolm Gladwell & more.


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