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Coca-Cola and Christmas - the perfect marketing mix

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We are approaching one of the best holidays period: Christmas. How can you not like this moment of the year; everyone turns back into a child, remembering the traditions that characterized this festivity since they have memories.


Christmas traditions for many people are extremely relevant. Brands that become associated with these traditions can consider themselves very lucky. We are talking, in fact, of a time of pure joy; but also of consumerism.


If you must tell the brand which has the strongest link to Christmas, I am sure that many of you will name Coca-Cola. However, nothing happens by chance in the marketing context; and Coca-Cola is a perfect example of this. Coca-Cola started working on this association with Christmas in the 30s, also influencing how we see this festivity.


But how has Coca-Cola influenced our modern Christmas? I am talking about Santa Claus, one of the “influencers” of the modern-age Christmas. Before the 30s, Santa Claus was already part of the Christmas celebration, but it did not have any stable figurative version. Coca-Cola was the first that created it; by commissioning Haddon Sundblom a version of Santa drinking the famous bottle of Coke for their Christmas advertisement. They replicated this same version for more than 30 years. The impact and reach of these advertisements were so strong that every culture started keeping this particular image as a reference when thinking of Father Santa.


The link between Coca-Cola and Christmas was created back in the days for a specific reason; the Coca-Cola marketing team realized that Christmas values of unity and joy were not so far from what Coca-Cola has always stood for.


Today, the interesting fact is that these values, rather than the Santa figurative version, are consistent in every Christmas spot of Coca-Cola.


In the last two years, which were highly affected by the covid pandemic, everyone around the world has been seeking a spirit of unification and hope. At Coca-Cola headquarters, managers realized that these Christmases were more meaningful than ever, and they responded to the market, providing the hope people were looking for.


I left here this year adv, called “Real Magic at Christmas”

Realizing a successful campaign during the covid pandemic is not easy, but Coca-Cola did it. Two are the main reasons for this achievement:

  • They have been emphatic with what their audience is feeling currently

  • They are not promoting their product in a period where anyone does it (they can do it since they are the leader in the market)


These days, when you will open the tv and probably watch the new Coca-Cola commercial, think how effective this company has been in more than 90 years. It all began with a version of Father Santa, and nearly a century after, we see how impactful this company has been for this festivity.


Written by: Alessandro Benini


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