|Santa and Coke: inseparable for over 90 years!|
This 1950 Coke ad is one of many iconic images of the man in the red suit with his Coke.
Illustrator Haddon Sundblom created the most famous Coke-Santa ads, beginning around 1930. Before these ads, there were many different popular images of Santa -- including the chubby man in a red suit, but also skinny Santas with other types of clothing. Most of the description of Santa, his beard, his sleigh, and his reindeer, had in fact appeared in the poem “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” published in 1823. The Coke ads reinforced this Santa image, which has lasted ever since. However, despite frequent claims — Coke didn't invent our Santa.
|In 1930, Santa drank a coke at the soda fountain in the Famous-Barr department store in St.Louis.|
As I grew up in St.Louis I remember the store (but not the soda fountain). The illustrator here: Fred Mizen.
But wait... Was Coke always Santa's favorite beverage?
|In 1915, Santa had a different favorite: White Rock Sparkling Water.|
Here he is in an ad from the San Francisco Examiner.
|By 1916, Santa was flying a biplane -- with more White Rock!|
|In the 1920s, Santa liked whiskey with his White Rock Ginger Ale!|
This ad appeared in a comic magazine called "Life" -- a predecessor of the better known Life.
Did it occur to you that Prohibition started in 1920? Santa's booze must have been bootleg.
|Another White Rock Santa ad from the 1920s. Before Coke!|
Ho, ho, ho, cherry nose
Cap on head, suit that's red
Special night, beard that's white
Must be Santa, must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus
-- Song by Hal Moore and Bill Fredericks.
For more Santa history see "Was Coca-Cola the first..." and "Meet Haddon Sundblom..." I'm sharing these vintage ads with the weekly blog event hosted by Elizabeth.