For many, Santa Claus is known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and simply ‘Santa’. Santa Claus, a figure with legendary, mythical, historical and folkloric origins who, in many western cultures, is assumed as the one who brings gifts to the homes of good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24.
But many may not know that it was the soft drink giant Coca Cola that popularised the Santa Claus’ image. The current image of Santa Claus was depicted by Swedish-American artist Haddon Hubbard Sundblom.
In 1931, Sundblom was commissioned by Coca-Cola to illustrate Santa for its Christmas holiday campaign. The popularity of the image spawned urban legends that Santa Claus was invented by THE Coca-Cola Company or that Santa wears red and white because they are the colours used to promote the Coca-Cola brand.
Beginning in 1931, Sundblom painted more than 40 original oil artworks of a lovable, jolly Saint Nicholas that captivated generations and, over the past 75 years, evolved into the lasting image of Santa for people around the world.
What started as an advertising concept grew to broadly influence the way we view the image of Santa Claus today. Sundblom’s portrayals of a warm and friendly Santa captivated American consumers and eventually the people all over the world.
Sundblom’s Santa was introduced in 1931 in Coca-Cola magazine ads in The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, National Geographic and other US publications.
The Coca-Cola Santa Claus, as illustrated by Sundblom, has been the dominant version of Santa used in the company marketing for the last 75 years.
Posted on: 2012-12-30 08:50