The real story behind Santa Claus

Posted on7 Years ago

Christmas is coming,and if there's an icon of these parties, that's SantaClaus, the endearing, bearded character who wears red and leaves gifts to the kids. Around its creation and the role that Coca-Cola played, some urban legends circulate, but few know the true story.

Santa claus is a mythological character who had already appeared in illustrations since the mid-19th century. However, until the 1930s the image of this orondo character variedconstantly, depending on the artist or the time it was drawn: it could be from a small elf to a tall, thin man, with all kinds of clothing, such as robes or leather jackets. As a detail, although many people believe that Santa wears red to relate him to Coca-Cola,he had already used clothes of that color on numerous occasions.

In 1920 Santa first appeared in a Coca-Cola ad published in The Saturday Evening Post. Seriously looking, this first Santa Claus was created by illustrator Thomas Nast, and for some years Coca-Cola used in his advertising different designs of this character developed by other illustrators.

However, Santa as we all know him today was born in 1931,commissioned by Coca-Cola's advertising agency to cartoonist Haddon Sundblom. The goal was to create a character halfway between the symbolic and the real, the personification of the Christmas spirit and the happiness of Coca-Cola. To do this, the illustrator was inspired by Clement ClarkMoore's poem " A Visit From St.Nicholas".

Based on St. Nicholas, he created an endearing, warm and friendly character that quickly warmed the audience and helped to fix the definitive image of Santa Claus. Sundblom was drawing Annually to Santa for Coca-Cola until 1964, although more pieces have subsequently been created based on his work.

And if Santa's character was based on a poem, who was Sundblom physically inspired? Well, in his friend Lou Prentiss, a retired salesman who modeled him for the first few years. When he died, he used himself as a model.

As a curiosity, it can be said that the ads were so successful that people knew them in detail. One year Coca-Cola received letters asking what had become of Mrs. Noel, when Santa appeared without his alliance. Another year they realized that their belt had the buckle upside down: gajes of painting and posing at the same time in front of the mirror.

It's been over 80 years since Coca-Cola's first Santa Claus came to light, and since then they've always gone hand in hand at Christmas, but what's the first Coca-Cola and Santa ad you remember in Spain?

Source: Coca-Cola Spain

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