Have you seen the new NORAD Track Santa Video Trailer? It seems, if you listen to the internet chatter, that some different advocate groups are giving NORAD the big stink eye over the video because the animation shows Santa being escorted by two fighter jets. Look at the video below.
For those of you out there who live under a rock, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) has been tracking Santa since the 50s. In days gone by one could call the Track Santa Hotline and a recorded message would update the caller of Santa’s location. I know when I was a kid in the 7os we would call it every year, it was one of those things we did because my mother got a kick out of it. I have done it with my three kids as well, and as the technology became available, we would track him on-line or via the Android app.
But, I’m here today for a different reason, today I want to talk about the flack NORAD is getting from some different child advocate groups. As an example, Josh Golin, associate director of the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, called the new campaign “reprehensible” since it played on children’s fears by suggesting that Santa Claus was vulnerable to attack. “It’s a backdoor way of marketing to kids when they are not supposed to be recruiting until they are much older,” he said. I wonder if Josh Golin knows that the mission of NORAD is the tracking and intercepting such potential threats as enemy bombers or ballistic missiles. NORAD uses it’s track Santa website to highlight what would normally go unseen by the public. Last year alone, the program sponsored by NORAD drew 22.3 million visitors last year and generated 114,000 phone calls from around the United States, so to me, that says that people are visiting the website and enjoying the Santa inaction.
Personally I don’t think they are “marketing” to children or portraying that Santa’s travels might have some threats. It’s just an animated video people, nothing more, nothing less. I think the point of the animation is simple and that point was to let the viewers know it was a NORAD video. I have read around the internet and there, of course, are many groups who don’t want the military marketed to children of any age. I will tell you something from my own experiences, a NORAD animated Santa tracker trailer is the very least of a parent’s worries about what influences our children.
Anyway, I thought the video was cool personally. What did you think?
In case the video doesn’t work, here is a direct link to the NORAD Tracks Santa Animated Video.