coca cola recognized the power of advertising early on, and leveraged celebrity talent like no other before or after them...behold the coca-cola santa. you'd be hard-pressed to find a figure more universally loved than this man, and coca-cola has reaped the benefits for generations...and they don't have to pay him. wonder why nobody has ever considered jesus...
from the annals of coca-cola lore:
"For inspiration, [illustrator] Sundblom turned to Clement Clark Moore's 1822 poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (commonly called "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"). Moore's description of St. Nick led to an image of Santa that was warm, friendly, pleasantly plump and human. For the next 33 years, Sundblom painted portraits of Santa that helped to create the modern image of Santa -- an interpretation that today lives on in the minds of people of all ages, all over the world."
read more here.
1964 - the dog featured here is based on the gray poodle that belonged to the florist in the illustrator's neighborhood...he changed it to black to have it stand out