It is Coca-Cola that designed the modern-day Santa Claus image that we all know
as part of an advertising campaign.

History offers several representations of the Father Christmas, who has appeared
in a wide range of clothing and colours over time. Some depictions of Santa
Claus even include a tall gaunt man and an elf —there was even a scary Claus.
Perhaps the most famous portrayal, however, is that of Saint Nicholas of Myra, a
4th Century bishop depicted in familiar red robes.

But in 1931, Coca-Cola commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to paint Santa
for Christmas advertisements. Those paintings established Santa as a warm, happy
character with human features, including rosy cheeks, a white beard, twinkling
eyes and laughter lines.

The Santa on Sundblom’s canvas captured the public imagination so fiercely, that
he continued to render Santa till 1964 for Coke. His paintings of Santa with a
glass of Coke were published in The Saturday Evening Post, The Ladies Home
Journal, National Geographic, The New Yorker and other publications.

Very few brands have had as big of an impact on an entire culture as Coca Cola.

Posted by Deepak Srinivasan on LinkedIn