The modern image of Santa Claus was created by the Coca-Cola Company.
1. Coca-Cola invented Santa’s red suit.
2. Santa’s trademark red and white robes were the creation of a Coca-Cola advertising campaign.
There is this popular claim that the modern image of Santa Claus in Red and White suit was created by the Coca-Cola Company as a part of its advertising campaign, and that the red color resembles that of Coca-Cola drink. No, the claims are not facts.
Santa Claus and Coca-Cola Advertising Promos
It is a fact that Santa Claus has been featured in Coke advertisements since the 1920s, and in 1931 the company began placing the Coca-Cola ads in popular magazines like The Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, National Geographic, The New Yorker and others, which helped shape the image of Santa. Michigan-born illustrator Haddon Sundblom was commissioned by Coca-Cola to develop advertising images showing the Santa Claus himself, not a man dressed as Santa. That is how came the famous image of a warm, friendly, pleasantly plump and human Santa with rosy cheeks, a white beard, twinkling eyes and laughter lines. The grandfather-style Coca-Cola Santa captivated the public and became so popular that in later years Coca-Cola advertising showed the same Santa doing various benevolent actions.
The popularity of the images in Coke advertisements (holding a Coca-Cola bottle in hand) gave rise to the claims that Santa Claus’ dress was invented by the Coca-Cola Company or that Santa wears red and white because they are the colors used to promote the Coca-Cola brand. However, as a matter of fact, Santa appeared in a red coat before Haddon Sundblom painted him for Coca-Cola advertising. Moreover, Coca-Cola was not the first soft drink company to utilize the modern image of Santa Claus in its advertising; White Rock Beverages used a red and white Santa to sell mineral water in 1915. As for the origin of colors of Santa Claus robe is concerned, it is widely thought to have been derived from the original Saint Nicholas, who was the Bishop of Myra in the 4th Century. Saint Nicholas was famous for his kindness to children and generosity to the poor. He became the model for Santa Claus as he had a reputation for secret gift-giving, like putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him.
So as detailed above, the stories saying Santa Claus’ robe in red and white colors was created by Coca-Cola Company for its advertising campaign are hoaxes.
Hoax or Fact: