The Coca-Cola Santa

Provided by Coca-Cola

Mustang Staff

In 1931 the Coca-Cola beverage company commissioned Michigan artist Haddon Sundblom to illustrate Santa Claus to promote their drinks. Sundblom used Clement Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas” poem to sketch a jolly plump Santa Claus wearing a festive red coat. Sundblom’s Coca-Cola Santa appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, The New Yorker, and National Geographic (Coca-Cola). For over the next 30 years, Sundblom produced Santa illustrations and oil paintings for Coca-Cola during the Christmas season, appearing on billboards, calendars, and plush dolls. Some of the original Sundblom Santa paintings can be viewed at World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia. 

In 1942 Sundblom created Sprite Boy, an elf who appeared with Santa in sketches and advertising for several decades. In the 1960s Coca-Cola launched a new beverage called Sprite. 

Provided by The Poetry Foundation (Clement Moore)
Norman Rockwell illustration for The Saturday Evening Post