Coca-Cola is celebrating 80 years of existence of the gentleman in a red coat with a white beard - Santa Clause. Santa that we all know today was made by a Swedish-American artist, Haddon Sundblom, who created his persona in 1931.
Before Sundblom’s work, there weren’t any images of Santa Clause that had been globally accepted. After going public with the Coca Cola’s image of Santa, the white beard man was quickly adopted by the whole world.
The first appearing of Sundblom’s Santa Clause was in adverts of The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal and National Geographic in 1931. After that, ‘Coca-Cola Santa’ has passed the test in front of the world audience and started to evoke holiday spirit since then.
“The Santa Claus illustrated by Haddon Sundblom is remarkable for several reasons, most notably because of the way the artist captured the essence of Saint Nicholas,” said Ted Ryan, Manager of The Coca‑Cola Company Archives. “Sundblom didn’t simply paint a costumed character; he made Santa a human being graced with the gift of immortality, and a physical manifestation of Christmas that was destined to endure.”
Coca-Cola’s ads continued to spread globally with iconic Santa Clause and their remarkable ‘Holidays are Coming’ trucks. The masterpiece, as I may say it, of Haddon Sundblom is something that was revolutionary in that moment. Coca-Cola has created a character that is so adorable and memorable who will follow us for the rest of our times. Santa Clause is definitely an important element of Coke’s brand value.