While driving through middle Tennessee last weekend I overheard the radio host in an engagement with another voice that started off like this:

“I’ve been thinking about how Santa is flying around the world on Christmas Eve delivering gifts for all the good little boys and girls,” he begins.

“And I don’t think he and the reindeer can pull that sleigh full of gifts for the entire world.”

Hmmm, the radio host moans in agreement.

“As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure that he must be using a Cummins.”

And the radio host laughs.

The guest continues, “Probably a Dodge Ram 2500 or 3500 like we have here down at…” and then he inserts the name of his dealership and proceeds to tell listeners about all of the configurations of commercial trucks they carry on their lot.

At a time when Coca-Cola is rolling out their polar bears, Budweiser their Clydesdales, and Hershey’s their silver bell “kisses,” there is a competition of sorts for the best Christmas commercial ever and I think these middle Tennessee guys have it.

Making a tie-in between your product or service and a current event or holiday is an easy way to make yourself relevant and generate awareness through marketing and PR.

What made this tie-in the perfect Christmas radio commercial was that the listener was fully drawn into the story, probably investing 15 seconds in the spot, before they realized it was a commercial.

Certainly, we’ve all considered how exactly Santa manages to visit every home, in every time zone, jiggle down each chimney, eat all of those cookies and still arrive with treats for our toddlers before sun up. So, the question of the sleigh seems to be just the next natural, albeit un-asked, question in the mystery of Santa.

And by wrapping it into a regionally appropriate discussion of a Cummins – something that country music listeners across the South are disproportionately likely to recognize – the story becomes all the more engaging, especially during the most wonderful time of the year.

This post is courtesy of MMC Principal Jennifer Koon.