Here we are, Christmas rapidly approaching and, no doubt, Santa and his helpers are busy loading up their sleigh while the reindeer prepare at the pre-event Pasta Party. But are you aware that the scene you are probably picturing was aided by a very clever strategy early in the last century.
It is not widely appreciated that the original colour Santa chose for his work uniform was blue. Then along came Coca Cola with a Christmas advertising strategy which forever changed the colour of Christmas. The idea was simple, dress Santa in Coca Cola’s corporate colours thus making him an unofficial ambassador for the drinks company.
Within a few years, people had forgotten about Santa’s preferred blue hue and the whole world had adopted Coke’s new colour for Santa. Nowadays, Santa dresses in red – period. Coke still use him as part of their seasonal advertising, possibly one of the longest running celebrity endorsements in history, but the original campaign was so successful in changing Santa’s uniform that the link in colour scheme is no longer recognised.
Depending on whom you ask this story is true, a myth or a combination of the two. But it seems a nice little story of strategy changing the way we see Christmas through which I would like to wish everyone who subscribes to, reads or accidentally happens across the Cowan Global Blog a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.
See you the other side!
© Jim Cowan, Cowan Global Limited, December 2011