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  • Hey, guys, this is how Coke invented Santa.

  • Quick, picture Santa Claus in your head right now.

  • What do you see?

  • Maybe a jolly fellow with a red coat and a big white beard.

  • Well, you're definitely not alone.

  • A common claim as that the Coco-Cola Company owns Santa Claus, or at the very least, he wears white and red because of Coke.

  • Obviously, Santa Claus existed well before Coke did.

  • But what if I told you that Coke was responsible for the modern day Santa?

  • The history of Santa Claus goes all the way back to Saint Nicholas, a monk from Patara - or modern-day Turkey - all the way back in 240 AD.

  • Saint Nicholas was known for giving away his wealth and helping the sick and the poor all over the country.

  • His popularity spread throughout Europe, even into the 18th and 19th century, where he inspired a number of gift-giving figures, including Christkind in Germany.

  • In England, Father Christmas filled stockings with presents.

  • In Sweden, Jultomten was a jolly elf who gave it presents from the back of a sleigh pulled by goats because that's not weird or anything.

  • And La Befana in Italy was a witch who came down the chimney and gave you, was it presents?

  • - Yeah. What else would she do?

  • I don't know, witches don't come down my chimney all the time, that's weird.

  • Santa Claus came to America after an article was written in a New York newspaper in 1774 about groups of Dutch families who had gathered for a feast known as the Feast of Sinter Klaas.

  • Of course, that translates to Saint Nicholas, or Santa Claus, as we know him today.

  • Around the 1820s is when stores started advertising specifically for Christmas, now featuring the newly popular Santa Claus.

  • Santa started showing up in shopping centers to bring in customers.

  • And in 1890, The Salvation Army started sending out guys dressed up as Santa Claus to solicit donations.

  • And that is where the iconic red buckets come from.

  • Fast forward to the Great Depression, and Coca-Cola was going through a rebrand.

  • With dwindling sales, especially in the winter months, Coke needed to expand their market.

  • At the time, Coke was still viewed as a pharmaceutical beverage.

  • When the drink was first invented, Coke was marketed as a brain and nerve tonic.

  • The original formula contained trace amounts of the coca leaf extract, also known as, you known, cocaine today.

  • Now, in 1903, they finally switched away from this.

  • And they moved over to something equally as nefarious, caffeine.

  • Actually, that's not as nefarious.

  • That's much, much better than cocaine.

  • Caffeine, cocaine.

  • In the '20s, Coke began using Santa Claus in advertisements.

  • But he was portrayed very differently than you might expect today.

  • There's no single unified version of Santa.

  • Sometimes he was tall, sometimes he was skinny, sometimes, for some reason, he had a crown with jewels on, and sometimes, he just looked like Danny DeVito.

  • In 1930, Coke released an ad featuring the all-new much more jolly version of Santa Claus enjoying the world's largest soda fountain in St. Louis, Missouri.

  • A year later, artist, Haddon Sundblom, was commissioned to paint Santa Claus enjoying a Coke.

  • And he wanted this version of Santa to be even more authentic.

  • To achieve this, he used a real-life model.

  • And no, it wasn't, like, a professional or anyone famous.

  • It was just his friend, a retired salesman named Lou Prentiss.

  • Sundblom was inspired by the poem, "A Visit From Saint Nicholas" by Clement Clarke Moore, which is commonly known today as "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

  • Twas, that's an underrated word, twas.

  • - T-was - T-was no, that sounds like a (bleep) rapper.

  • ♪ T-was in the building, yo. ♪

  • And with this, modern Santa was invented.

  • I mean, obviously modern Santa always existed in the North Pole.

  • But you know, everyone figured out what he looks like because Coca-Cola paid a guy to paint him.

  • These ads were incredibly popular with the public.

  • And Sundblom continued to tweak Santa each year.

  • Since canvas what's expensive, he literally just painted over the original when he created the followup ad.

  • As you can see here, he gave Santa Claus a whip for the reindeer, as well as a signature hat.

  • And with that, we basically have Santa Claus as we know him today.

  • In 1942, Coca-Cola decided that there's no way that Santa Claus could deliver all those presents by himself, so, of course, he needed a sidekick.

  • And who better to call on than Sprite Boy?

  • Actually there's a lot of better things to call him than Sprite Boy.

  • - How 'bout any other thing?

  • Literally anything.

  • So Sprite Boy, interesting enough, actually wasn't based on the beverage, Sprite.

  • This was over, what, 18, 19 years before Sprite was invented.

  • Instead, he was known as a sprite, is in, like an elf, or something.

  • Thankfully, Sprite Boy was discontinued in 1958 when they realized that he was a horrible abomination and that, oh, oh.

  • Oh, this is unsettling.

  • Sundblom, as the father of modern Santa continued to make ads for Coca-Cola for 33 years.

  • Even after he retired, Coke continued to model Santa after Sundblom's design, as did the rest of the world.

  • His original paintings that are so popular, that they've been shown off in museums such as the Louvre.

  • And the originals reside at the World of Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta.

  • So the next time you see Santa Claus, give a big thanks to our friends over at Coke, who were, of course, awesome enough to sponsor this video.

  • - Whoa, whoa, one second. Coke isn't sponsoring this video.

  • - They're not? - No.

  • - What do you mean they're not?

  • I'm holding a Coke.

  • I've got the logo up here, I'm about to take a big drink of it.

  • No, no this video is not sponsored by Coke.

  • No, no, stop.

  • It's all going downhill.

  • This is delicious, though, I gotta admit.

  • Mm.

  • Ah, it's so refreshing.

Hey, guys, this is how Coke invented Santa.

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B2 US santa santa claus claus coke sprite coca

How Coke Invented Santa Claus

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    minami.kuo posted on 2019/11/20
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