Santa Claus

Many people know Santa Claus to appear jolly with a red suit and a white beard. However, what most people don’t know is that Santa wasn’t always portrayed in this way. And in fact, Coca-Cola advertising has somewhat helped create this modern appearance of what Santa Claus is today.

Until 1931, the images of Santa Claus had varied throughout the different regions and cultures. Some portrayals even presented Santa as an elf-like, spooky or scary character – far from the merry old man we know today. It wasn’t until Haddon Sundblom started creating magazine covers for Coke that this image of St. Nick began to change. Sundblom was inspired by Clement Clark Moore’s 1822 poem The night before Christmas. Here he featured Santa Claus as a kind, jolly man in a red suit.

Sundblom kept creating these ads for 30 years after and because magazines were so widespread at that time, it wasn’t long until this new appearance of Santa Claus became concrete. So, the image of Santa today is very much based on Coca-Cola advertising.

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