Santa Claus' cookie-heavy diet hasn't seemed to slow him down over the millennia. But if he wants to squeeze into an Audi RS 5 Sportback—whose driver's seat is evidently more snug than your average chimney—he'll have to lose a little off the waistline.
That's the theme of a long-form holiday spot for the automaker by M/H VCCP (the agency formerly known as Muh-tay-zik Hof-fer).
St. Nick has something of a midlife crisis early on in the almost four-minute video, as he forlornly eyes a couple exiting their RS 5. He looks every part the tragic figure as he hides shamefully in the shadows, literally with cookie crumbs in his beard.
The incident kicks his ass a bit, and soon he's determined to start working out—shedding not just pounds but the century-old image, created largely by Coca-Cola's illustrations, as a fat and jolly man.
In the end, the notorious giver of gifts is himself presented with one. You can see where this is going...
The world-building in the spot is entertaining. It's particularly refreshing to see the elves as hardcore exercise fiends, a major step up from their traditional image as weaselly perfectionists. The scenes at the boxing gym are central to the piece in that regard, and the echoes of Rocky, if a bit clichéd, do help with the narrative.
For our money, the svelte Santa who emerges from this fitness boot camp seems like ... well, a bit of a wanker. And it's totally unclear how the non-flying RS 5 will function as a sleigh. (He may have to take ferries across bodies of water, which will slow him down immensely.)
"Progress is rewriting your own story," says the onscreen line at the end. Which may feel, to some, a bit too real-world aspirational to tie up such a fantasy narrative (though good luck coming up with something better).
The spot, as a whole, also begs the question of whether Santa Claus actually is too fat. The Audi site isn't helpful in this regard, at least in determining whether he could or couldn't fit into an RS 5. And more broadly speaking, body shaming him clearly doesn't suit the zeitgeist.
For now, we'll accept Audi's self-improvement angle here and congratulate Santa one being one more Biggest Loser.