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Santa Claus, Coca-Cola and Mercantile…
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True or False: Santa’s red-and-white garb was invented by Coca-Cola for their advertising in the 1930s.

I was reading an article about the recent white Coke cans — the ones with polar bears on them. Coke abruptly discontinued them after lots of people mistook them for Diet Coke and complained (they were all surprised by how good the Diet Coke tasted!).

Anyway, this article stated that it was silly for Coke to abandon their traditional red-and-white can colors because, after all, their advertising was responsible for establishing Santa’s red-and-white getup. This is something I wasn’t aware of, so I did a little research.

It turns out that this idea is false. Santa began appearing in his red-and-white suit in commercial advertising at the start of the 20th century. Though Santa’s appearance was popularized by Haddon Sundblom’s depiction of him for Coke’s advertising in the ’30s (some great artwork), Coke certainly didn’t “invent” it for their commercial purposes. It’s fascinating to me how advertising and branding can have such an impact on how we view even ancient things, like the celebration of Christmas.

So what does all this have to do with Mercantile and smarter small business financing? Not much. We won’t try to depict Santa in “Mercantile Blue” — just doesn’t seem right. I just wanted to share a bit of Christmas trivia that I thought you might find interesting.

The Holiday Season makes me look back over this year and years past (I can be a bit sentimental at times), and think about all the great people we’ve worked with…who’ve had a hand in our success. I want to say “Thanks!” to all our Clients, past and present, and to those who’ve introduced us to new Clients.

The Mercantile Family and I are looking forward to a Wonderful New Year, and we want to wish you the absolute best. Merry Christmas!

Dedicated to Your Continued Success and a Wonderful Holiday Season,


P.S. And if you DO happen to know a business owner looking to purchase or refinance commercial property…well, you know who would really appreciate an introduction!

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  1. Roberta Caputo says:

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Thank you for the great conversation piece! You have earned our referrals!

  2. Dennis Levinstein says:

    Thank-YOU and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years.

  3. Tom Hayes says:

    Chris thanks for the Santa info. Very interesting! I hope your recent move went well. I attended your online webinar recently and found it very informative.
    Merry Christmas.

  4. Sunny says:

    Good morning Chris.

    It’s always True Christmas!
    Merry Christmas !

  5. Mark Siner says:

    Chris, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year to you.

  6. Mike Gach says:

    Happy holidays.

  7. Ray Angeles says:

    Merry xmas and great 2012.

  8. Steven Podolsky says:

    Warm wishes to you and yours for a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

  9. Kathy Sheehan says:

    When it comes to holiday advertising, I think Coca-Cola has always done an outstanding job!
    Happy Holidays!

  10. Wallace S. Gibson says:

    Coke did branding BEFORE BRANDING was cool – COLD! Iced and COLD! I think the polar bears got better benefits from Al Gore….HeHeHe! Merry Christmas!

  11. Sue says:

    Thanks for sharing the Coke trivia re Santa’s outfit. He certainly looks jolly in Cokes advertising. What great, sticky branding that company created!
    Have a wonderful Christmas and/or any other Holiday being celebrated.

    • Chris Hurn says:

      Thanks, Sue.

  12. Ben Barnes says:

    You need to see the episode of Robot Chicken where Santa Visits the Coca Cola board room.

    I think you will enjoy it.

    • Chris Hurn says:

      Thanks, Ben. I’ll look into it.

  13. Rhea Law says:

    Very clever… Thanks for thinking of me at Christmas.

    I look forward to us working together in the New Year.

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