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Opinion and Insight
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The Grand Catharsis of Christmas in Argentina

Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, 9 months, 1 week ago

Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi Buenos Aires ECD Rafael Santamarina reflects on Argentinian Christmas customs

The Grand Catharsis of Christmas in Argentina

As far as the global advertising industry goes, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Christmas only happens in the UK and USA – well, with a sprinkling of action in France, Germany and Australia. But while festive communications revels in the myth – and, increasingly it is a myth – of the ‘White Christmas’, if you take time to look a little closer, Christmas advertising around the world is, in fact, a rich tapestry. Climate, culture, religion and plain ol’ idiosyncrasies mean that the needs and preference of local markets can vary wildly. We caught up with Rafael Santamarina of Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi Buenos Aires to pick his brains about Christmas in Argentina (and find out more about other countries, from Germany to China here).


Unlike in other countries, our Christmas falls in summertime. We buy into Santa’s outfit, with his long, white beard and his coat warm enough to roam the North Pole in, and thank God our kids don’t question why he doesn't take off a few layers to keep from sweating.

And because Christmas falls during summertime, it’s not only the end of the calendar year, but the work year, as everyone leaves for vacations during summer to escape the heat. So Christmas acts as a sort of grand catharsis – a feeling that you've successfully completed another exhausting year and in a few days you’ll be sitting on the beach somewhere, barbecuing and celebrating.

Yes, barbecuing. We don’t eat turkey, we grill. That’s non-negotiable. 

In recent years, advertising has lost its emotional connection with consumers. Brands are more interested in selling their product and making sure it’s under the Christmas tree than connecting with the people who buy it. The spirit of Christmas has been lost at the hands of massive deals and promotions, making way for the spirit of consumerism.