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Coca-Cola Christmas: The 60s

The 60s marked Sundblom's final Santa Claus painting in 1964, though his original artwork from 1962 was later used as the basis for a Coca-Cola television ad in 2001.

1964 - Original oil painting

1964 - Original oil painting "Things Go Better With Coke"

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1961 magazine ad - based on the "When Friends Drop in" original oil painting

In 1961 Sundblom created an image of Santa trying to quiet the family dog. The original oil painting measures more than three feet wide.

The ad first appeared in the US in December editions of Life, The Saturday Evening Post, Boy's Life, The New Yorker and National Geographic.

Actress Connie Clausen appeared in this Coca-Cola ad in 1961




1962 retail display - based on the "Season's Greetings" original oil painting from 1962

The 1962 "Seasons Greetings" artwork created by Sundblom shows Santa having a Coke and playing with the toys he has delivered. In the 1936 artwork, Santa is also featured playing with a toy train set.

In 2001, the original 1962 artwork was used as the basis for an animated TV commercial starring the Coca-Cola Santa. The ad was created by Academy Award-winning animator Alexandre Petrov.

1963 Original Oil Painting - "Santa Please Pause Here"

This 1963 painting shows Santa Claus reading a letter left on the mantle with a bottle of Coke. The letter, signed by Jimmy, says "Dear Santa, please pause here." Jimmy and his sister spy on Santa from the doorway. Other Coca-Cola Santa Claus paintings featured letters from Jimmy - first in 1932 and then in 1945.

The children who appear in this and other Santa artwork were based on neighbours of the artist. Though the neighbours were both girls, Sundblom changed one into a boy in his illustrations.

1964 Original oil painting - "Things Go Better With Coke"

In the 1964 Coca-Cola Santa Claus artwork created by Sundblom, Santa plays with two kids and a dog. This piece, called "Things Go Better with Coke," is the last Santa painting Sundblom created for Coca-Cola advertising.

The dog in these ads was originally a grey poodle belonging to the neighbourhood florist. Artist Sundblom painted the animal with black fur, instead, to make it stand out.

1964 - Artist, Haddon Sundblom

Artist Haddon Sundblom stands in front of his 1964 Santa painting. Sundblom's vision of a friendly, jolly, human Santa was used in Coca-Cola advertising from 1931 and helped shape the modern day image of Santa.

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