Hard to believe that the Coca-Cola Company ever had slow sales. But in the early 1930’s the small soda company found that the winter months were that hardest for sales.
Enter advertising painter Haddon Sundblom, and his version of the St Nicholas people had grown to associate with the Christmas season – In a red suit with white fur trim that just happened to be the companies colors. And what’s Santa’s drink of choice? Why it’s Coca-Cola, of course. He was usually pictured drinking Coke by the fireplace, or, most importantly, leaving bottles of Coke as gifts.
The campaigns worked, and Coca-Cola skyrocketed in popularity.
In a time of black & white movies…it was these colorful illustrations (in magazine adds, billboards, and cardboard in-store stand-ups) that also solidified our modern image of Santa.
Pretty big influence on the kiddos too. Who happened to be the target market for sugar-water in the early part of the century. (Pretty sure that they still are)
It’s an urban myth that the Coca-Cola Company created this red and white Santa figure.
They didn’t, of course.
But they are certainly responsible for how we envision our Santa Claus today.