Coca-Cola Christmas: The 50s
Coca-Cola developed new advertising slogans that were used across magazine campaigns in the 1950s and in 1959 dropped Sundblom's Santa as the main subject of its Christmas advertising.
A 1955 Coca-Cola Santa Claus display from Sweden
1951 Original oil painting - "Good Boys & Girls"
The 1951 artwork Haddon Sundblom created for Coca-Cola shows Santa reviewing his list of "Good Boys and Girls." He sits with an enormous list, a quill instead of a pen, a globe to find children around the world and a bottle of Coke.
1952 - German calendar
In this 1952 calendar from Germany, Santa holds a bottle of Coke. This simple image was recognised around the world, appearing on calendars, magazine ads, shop displays, billboards and more.
1953 - Magazine Ad
The 1953 Coca-Cola Santa artwork features one of the longest lasting slogans in Coca-Cola history: The Pause That Refreshes, introduced in 1929.
The artwork used for this 1953 ad was later adapted for the 1956 Coca-Cola Santa Claus. The toys disappeared and Santa sat on a stool with a sign that read "For Sparkling Holidays."
1955 - Store Display from Sweden
This 1955 Coca-Cola Santa Claus display from Sweden was also used in the United States, where the ad reminded people to "Stock up for the holidays."
1956 - Coca-Cola Santa Claus poster
This "For Sparkling Holidays" poster is actually created from the 1947 original Coca-Cola Santa Claus oil painting called "Busy Man's Pause," which shows Santa taking a break from making toys to enjoy a Coke. You can see in this poster - as in the original 1947 painting - Santa has a paintbrush tucked behind his ear as he sits next to open paint cans.
1958 - Store display from Mexico
This cardboard store display from Mexico was used in 1958. In the US a similar image of Santa next to a grandfather clock was used in 1954. Instead of "Feliz Navidad," the ribbon on the clock said "Good Taste For All" in the US version.
Two Coca-Cola Christmas TV ads from 1958
1959- Calendar - based on the "Refreshing Surprise" original oil painting
In 1959, artist Haddon Sundblom again showed Santa in front of an open refrigerator, "borrowing" a Coke from the homeowners. This time, though, Santa is caught by a child. The 1959 painting used as a basis for this calendar marked a departure for Sundblom.
Most of his past Santa art featured Santa as the main subject, and Santa dominated the artwork. From this 1959 painting onward, Santa played a part in an overall Christmas scene with children and others. This original painting became one of the most loved of the Santa works.
The artwork for this calendar could not have the same horizontal layout as the original painting, which actually measured more than 4 feet across. In the calendar, the child is much closer to Santa, and we do not see as much of the fridge.
Above is a Coca-Cola Christmas commercial from 1959
1950s - Artist, Haddon Sundblom
This photo of Haddon Sundblom taken in the 1950s shows the artist wearing a Santa hat, holding a coke and looking in the mirror.
In the beginning, Sundblom painted the image of Santa Claus using a live model - his friend, Lou Prentiss, a retired salesman. When Prentiss passed away, Sundblom used himself as a model, painting while looking into a mirror. After the 1930s, he used photographs.
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