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Monday, January 09, 2012

The Coca-Cola Christmas Company

For the last century or so, Coca-Cola has done a masterful job of insinuating itself into Christmas traditions. They appropriated and reshaped Santa Claus' iconography back in the 30s, and now they have these admittedly cool ornament-shaped bottles. I doubt they're hung on many trees (not while full, at least), but they certainly evoke the Christmas spirit. I hope whoever designed this bottle received a hefty bonus.

1 comment:

"Where No One Has Gone BeJeff" said...

Haddon Sundblom. That's the name to research. Sundblom was a tremendous artist who did a lot of commercial work. He mentored Gil Elvgren, who did all of those great pinups, and I think he may have also worked with Alberto Vargas, another pinup virtuoso.

Before Sundblom, Santa Claus was pictured as an elf, or some other humanoid creature. Sundblom made Santa a lot more jolly and approachable, following some of the popular holiday text and poetry that was contemporary at the time.

Coke bought the services of Sundblom and had him put his Santa into Christmas scenes with their product. The effect was catalytic: jolly fat Santa, sweet caffeine, economic and political turmoil, and a strong sense of nostalgia all came together into one of the greatest marketing campaigns ever.

Funny that you should mention the ball-shaped bottles. I've seen the same bottles used for other stuff, so until you mentioned it, I never made the connection that they are ornaments. I thought they were vaguely bomb-shaped, in the tradition of Boris and Natasha, or better still Batman:

"Some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb!"