Nothing signals off the Christmas season like the arrival of the Coca cola Santa. Not only does this Santa adorn the coke bottle we purchase but the decorations we purchase for Christmas.

Do you know how the Coca Cola Santa helped us shape our image of Santa today? The Coca Cola Santa was developed as a nd adverising scheme to get customer to purchase the soft drink in the winter. Coca Cola was primarily a considered a summer time dirnk. Coca Cola had a clever marketing ploy; link the soft drink to the the true Winter time icon. Not only did Coca Cola link it but they made Santa a prospective customer.

Coca Cola took the Santa from early drawings in 1920 by Fred Minzen. He made his coat brown instead of todays concept of a red coat. Many speculate that Coke made Santa's coal red to symbolize coke, but this is not true. Minzen's Santa was actually a department store Santa. Coke took thier concept one step further and made Santa the real deal.

Illustrator Haddon Sunblum took the concept one step further. He took Fred Mintzen's concept of Santa Clause and adapted it to the Santa Claus portrayed in the famous story " Twas the Night before Christmas" This gave Santa the warmth and more genuine humaness. Sunblum used live models for his Santa and even used himself as a model. The children in his illustrations were based on the neighborhood hildren. Sunblums illustrations made it to the cover of many magazines and helped shape Santa Claus into his current day image. Sunblum's paintings are still sought after today. They are a definate piece of Coca Cola History. Most of Sumblums original paintings have been placed in museums around the world!

The Coca Cola Santa appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post in 1931. Fans have paid particular attention to Santa's detail since his introduction. One year Santa was drawn without a wedding ring and many fans wondered what happened to Mrs Claus.

The traditional Coca Cola Santa has adorned many Christmas Ornaments and decorations.

It wasn't until 1993 when the Coca Cola Polar bear was introduced. The concept of the Coke bear was dreamed up by Ken Stewart. He was trying to think of yet anothr marketing statedgy to attract cok e drinkers. he thought about how people sip on cokes at the movies. he also thought about his dog, who looked an awful lot like a polar bear. How funny would it be if a polar bear were sipping a coke watching a movie. better yet watching the northernlights! The first commercial got us hooked and now there are 27 total Coke Bear commercials.

You know it's Christmas when the Coke commercials start coming out! It's funny how America culture is affected by a clever marketing ploy, isn't it?