Friday, December 24, 2004


I was very disappointed to hear Anwar Knight, once-weatherman of Global News in Toronto speak of how the modern image of Santa Claus came about. According to Knight, the image of Santa we all know and love was designed by the Coca Cola company (you know, the both red and white costume...).

Sufficed to say, I was a tad disappointed.

Hey, I'm not traditionalist. I revel in the "A Christmas Story" images of presents under the tree and the Santa Claus Parade as much as anyone. But the 2nd most symbolic Christmas image was designed by a cola company? That's commercialzation to the extreme. Which is saddening.

So, I decided to put on my detective hat and see what the deal was. I am pleased to report that Anwar's report is false. According to, the modern image of Santa (sleigh, B&E through the chimney, jelly-like belly) was not created by a cola company, but rather described in a poem by Clement Clarke Moore and illustrated by Harper's Weekly artist Thomas Nast.

As for Coke's involvement, here's what Snopes has to say:

"At the beginning of the 1930s, the burgeoning Coca-Cola company was still looking for ways to increase sales of their product during winter, then a slow time of year for the soft drink market. They turned to a talented commercial illustrator named Haddon Sundblom, who created a series of memorable drawings that associated the figure of a larger than life, red-and-white garbed Santa Claus with Coca-Cola. Coke's annual advertisements — featuring Sundblom-drawn Santas holding bottles of Coca-Cola, drinking Coca-Cola, receiving Coca-Cola as gifts, and especially enjoying Coca-Cola — became a perennial Christmastime feature which helped spur Coca-Cola sales throughout the winter (and produced the bonus effect of appealing quite strongly to children, an important segment of the soft drink market)."

So, I'm relieved to hear that a mulitnational conglomerate only exploited a traditional image, but didn't created it. A few other interesting things that I found out about Santa:

Well, don't say CH doesn't give you something to ponder over the Christmas Season.


Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]