AT&T Reinvents Santa to Promote the Palm Centro

I don't know about you, but I see that "Call me Claüs" ad on my right sidebar every day I log into my Facebook homepage. I, personally, hated it at first glance - as if the holiday wasn't cheapened enough by commercials and fake trees, AT&T had to remake Santa into their hip, new Palm Centro spokesman? But apparently 46,000+ fans disagreed with me, so I thought the page was worth highlighting as a fun Facebook campaign at the least, even if somewhat confusing.

While not a fan of the concept itself, I do love the overall design of the page. It has original videos, holiday music remixes, links to download and share content, and even a link for Christmas e-cards. Aside from a few mentions of the Centro here and there, there is only one relatively small ad focused directly on the phone itself in the page's narrow column. Checking out the wall, I was happy to see "Claüs" responding to other posts pretty regularly, in character. The two apps available through the page tie in with the overarching Santa and gift-giving themes, though seemingly not at all with the Centro.

The page has obviously been successful in terms of acquiring fans (and thus, immediate access to those fans), but I wonder how much further AT&T can go beyond that? I think people get sick of the whole "Santa" thing pretty quickly after the holidays have passed, and transferring those 46,000 fans over to a shiny new Palm Centro specific page wouldn't be easy. Naturally, the majority of fans participating on the page now are much more interested in the character AT&T has reinvented than they are in communicating questions or concerns about the Palm Centro. And by nature of the page itself, any "reviews" posted are about the marketing concept rather than the product the page so subtly promotes, so I just feel that the overall point of the page is unclear. Maybe AT&T was just hoping to capitalize on some extra cash from Claüs' iTunes mp3 sales?