Coca-Cola's Iconic Santa Claus Ads by Haddon Sundblom
Getting into the spirit of the season, we felt timely to showcase Coca-Cola's vintage holiday ads. Coca-Cola's ubiquitous advertising has greatly impacted American culture and the seminal brand is frequently credited with inventing the modern image of Santa Claus. Haddon Sundblom, an American Artist who made an indelible mark on 20th century advertising art, is best remembered for illustrating the now iconic winter ad campaigns he painted for the Coca-Cola Company in the 1930s. Catching a glimpse of imagery that lives on in the minds of people of all ages, around the globe, we hope this post brings a smile to your face and evokes pleasant memories this holiday season.
According to the Coca-Cola company "For inspiration, Sundblom turned to Clement Clark Moore's 1822 poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (commonly called "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"). Moore's description of St. Nick led to an image of Santa that was warm, friendly, pleasantly plump and human. For the next 33 years, Sundblom painted portraits of Santa that helped to create the modern image of Santa – an interpretation that today lives on in the minds of people of all ages, all over the world."
Sundblom is recognized as a major influence on many well known pin-up artists, such as Gil Elvgren, Edward Runci, Joyce Ballantyne, Art Frahm, and Harry Ekman. In the mid-1930s, he began to paint pin-ups and glamour pieces for calendars. Sundblom's last assignment, in 1972, was a cover painting for Playboy's Christmas issue.