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FESTIVE SEASON MARKETING

After 90 years together, Santa and Coca-Cola are still inseparable

By our News Team | 2021

Coca-Cola has put a modern-day digital twist on how it works with Santa to promote the brand this Festive Season.

The Coca-Cola marketing machine that created the modern-day Santa Claus (or Father Christmas, depending on your preference) is still collaborating to great effect with the chubby old man in his red-and-white suit.

But with this being the age of digital marketing, mobile phone apps and video-on-demand, Coca-Cola has put a modern-day twist on how it works with Santa to promote the brand this Festive Season.

In the North American market, Coke has joined forces with Cameo, an app that enables celebrities and fans to connect, to give app users the chance to win a personalised Cameo video from Santa Claus.

Contest entrants have been able specify whether the video will be for themselves or for someone such as a child or spouse, as well as request one of three languages offered: English, Spanish or French.

However, given that the run-up to Christmas is Santa’s busiest time of the year and he has little time for marketing campaigns, only 1 500 videos have been made available.

Festive Season Marketing

Image courtesy of the Coca-Cola Company

New ways to interact with Santa

“Cameo exists to facilitate impossible fan connections and create memories that last, and we’re thrilled to partner with Coca-Cola to bring a new way for families and fans to interact with Santa Claus this holiday season,” Arthur Leopold, Chief Business Officer for Cameo, said in a statement. 

“We’ve taken the traditional meet-and-greet with Santa Claus and turned it into a more accessible, authentic and personalised experience, and we look forward to enhancing future holiday celebrations by providing access to more iconic figures we know and love.”

While Coca-Cola is quick to point out that it did not create the legend of Santa Claus, its advertising has played a big role in shaping the jolly character we know today.

Before 1931, there were many different depictions of Santa Claus around the world – even a scary Santa. But in that year, Coca-Cola commissioned illustrator Haddon Sundblom to paint Santa for the brand’s 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. Sundblom drew inspiration from an 1822 poem by Clement Clark Moore called “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, more commonly known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas”.

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