'Twas the night before Christmas, and inside the jail, Randy the "Party Santa" sat drunken and pale. Earlier that night, after drinking whiskey and rye, Randy tried to drive home, and got a DUI.
Such is the fate of the flask-toting star of this holiday-themed print ad from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. With his scraggly beard, ample chest hair and a cigarette protruding from his pouty lips, the dude looks more like a '70s porn actor gone to seed than St. Nick.
It's the department's second controversial effort in recent weeks, coming on the heels of its "Don't Jerk and Drive" commercial, which addressed safe driving on icy roads. Deemed offensive by some, that spot was, um, yanked from the airwaves. Now, some South Dakotans are objecting to "Party Santa," saying it might actually encourage rowdy holiday behavior among its youthful target audience.
John Snyder, marketing director at 605 Magazine, which is running the ad, begs to differ: "People constantly say it's funny, but they get the message … it comes back down to trying to get people to be responsible on the roads."
Ah well, whether the creative approach is naughty or nice is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.
Instead of cookies and milk, maybe I'll leave a glass of water and some Alka-Seltzer for Kris Kringle this year.