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Santa gets OnStar -- and a commercial pitch -- for the season

December 16, 2009 |  6:10 pm

Santathisone
A none-too-jolly Santa checks out his new OnStar gadgets. Credit: YouTube.
It sounds like such a nice idea: The OnStar car communications company owned by General Motors announced that users of the service will be able to track the global journey of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

Just push the OnStar button on Dec. 24 and kids can get an update on where jolly St. Nick is, as provided by the U.S./Canadian NORAD aerospace system (which has been providing Santa updates to children by phone for more than 50 years). 

But this nice gesture was not to be done without hype. OnStar has placed on YouTube a video showing Santa visiting the company and getting a description of all the technological wonders it can put on his sleigh, including GPS, diagnostic devices and hands-free calling "while taking a call from Mrs. Claus."

The little video production is not helped by acting that would embarrass a community theater troupe and a Santa who looks incredibly bored with the presentation.

Yes, Virginia, there is a new General Motors. Not too different from the old General Motors.

-- David Colker

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