Nothing rings in the holiday season quite like the first sighting of the Santa cheersing to you through the shine of a Coca-Cola Christmas truck. Every season fans anticipate the latest Coca-Cola Christmas commercial wondering: What will they do this year?
I remember when I first learned that the advertising legends working for Coca-Cola reimagined our modern idea of Santa Claus to align with the brand. That’s when I realized there is no Christmas without Coca-Cola. Here are some “Coke-mas” commercials that I love:
The polar bears are cute, but what is special about this commercial is the hidden traditions. While it is modern and uses cutting edge CGI for its time, the ad evokes 100 year old Coca-Cola messages.
In 1932 Coca-Cola launched the “Ice Cold Sunshine” campaign because they wanted to popularize the beverage as a summer drink. Before this, they were primarily thought of as a warm drink. This campaign was the first time customers saw Coca-Cola on ice.
Today, that message is so ingrained in the branding that we can feasibly see polar bears living off of it. It is an example of a campaign that was not successful because it improved sales, and increased brand awareness – it permanently changed the American perception of a product for the better.
2. Christmas Wishes for Santa (1986)
Creatively, this TV spot from 1986 did not make major strides. It is pretty common to get an emotional ad during Christmas time. The reason this ad is special is because it puts Coca-Cola at the heart of Christmas traditions.
Every child and parent gets a warm feeling from this commercial. That might make them buy a Coke but, they definitely associated their Christmas delight with the brand.
The best part about this ad, is that it showed us how hard this year was, without saying this year was hard. Wieden+Kennedy London and Taika Waititi used a fathers long journey to the North Pole to represent the tumultuous year we have all had.
The tagline, “Together Tastes Better” perfectly encapsulated the lesson we have all learned best this year: Time is Precious. The father in the story was able to give his daughter time with him for Christmas. Thanks to a little Coke-mas magic, Santa was able to deliver the gift of togetherness on his iconic 18-wheeler.
Great stuff. Christmastime is oneword.
John R. Ingrassia
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