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Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:41 PM

How Coca-Cola and others made Santa fat, red, and bearded

There’s nothing like a cold can of Coke on a winter afternoon. A tough sell, perhaps, but Coca-Cola had just the guy in mind to help convince consumers: Santa Claus. The company didn’t invent Santa, whose origins are more complicated, but Coke’s advertising helped popularize the modern version of Father Christmas in much of the world.

The original Coca-Cola advertisements featuring Santa were created by the artist Haddon Sundblom back in the 1930s. Sundblom is credited with solidifying the contemporary image of Santa known to Americans and many Europeans: red suit, white beard, big belly. In a review of the new book The Saint Who Would Become Santa Claus, the Wall Street Journal writes:

Dutch and German immigrants brought St. Nicholas to America in the early 19th century, and he began a process of assimilation, trading in his bishop’s miter and crosier for a fur-trimmed red suit and cap. The Santa we now know was the creation of poet Clement Clarke Moore, the author of “The Night Before Christmas”; cartoonist Thomas Nast; illustrators like N.C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell; and the magazine ads for Coca-Cola painted by Haddon Simmons starting in 1931, in which Santa took a break from the arduousness of setting up junior’s electric train by pausing to have a coke.

For the Coca-Cola ads, Sunblom created a happy Santa, but this had not always been the way he was interpreted. He could sometimes be seen as overworked. Coke’s concept for the advertising campaign centered around a Santa who, when armed with a bottle of Coke , was now able to make his rounds delivering toys to all the good little girls and boys with his jolly disposition intact.
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http://qz.com/39029/how-coca-cola-and-others-made-santa-fat-red-and-bearded

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Reply How Coca-Cola and others made Santa fat, red, and bearded (Original post)
Renew Deal Feb 2013 OP
Tx4obama Feb 2013 #1
Renew Deal Feb 2013 #3
Warpy Feb 2013 #2
jmowreader Feb 2013 #6
Warpy Feb 2013 #9
xfundy Feb 2013 #4
Aristus Feb 2013 #5
jmowreader Feb 2013 #7
ThomThom Feb 2013 #10
Aristus Feb 2013 #11
The Magistrate Feb 2013 #8

Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:50 PM

1. It appears that you posted the wrong link in the OP.

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Response to Tx4obama (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:58 PM

3. Fixed

Thanks

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:51 PM

2. ...and HUGE. In the poem, he's an elf with a streak of mischief.

That would rather leave out the tall, fat, red faced guy.

Nicholas, if he existed, was all sackcloth and ashes like the rest of the saints from that period.

I think Coca Cola wanted their product left out with the cookies instead of milk, and that's the reason they co opted him. They knew flat soda would be tossed, thus increasing the family's soda consumption.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:28 PM

6. Soda left out for Santa doesn't get tossed

Did you ever wonder why Santa liked your dad's favorite cookie?

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:02 PM

9. Soda will go flat by the time the kiddies have had their baths

and their bedtime story and have finally fallen asleep.

Dad's washing the cookies down with beer. Nobody ever accused him of being classy.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:37 PM

4. Santa used the (real) sugar high back then.

But then the christers got ahold of him.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 04:06 PM

5. I blame Coca-Cola for a lot of bad things, but this is not one of them.

Clement Clark Moore described Santa in "A Visit From Saint Nicholas": "He was so jolly and plump, a right jolly old elf."

And Thomas Nast's definitive cartoon, decades before the 1930's:

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Response to Aristus (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:35 PM

7. Santa suits used to be available in green as well as red

The city of St Maries, Idaho, owns a Santa suit they bring out every year for what's now called Black Friday. It's green. And every year the kids are told this is what Santa wears most of the year but he changes to red on Dec. 24.

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Response to Aristus (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:41 PM

10. smoking opium

?
that guy is high as hell

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Response to ThomThom (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:43 PM

11. Put a tie-dye on him and he's David Crosby.

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Response to Renew Deal (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 07:49 PM

8. Reminds Me Of An Old Favorite, Sir

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