Coke Christmas ad beautiful extension of the brand

Back in the 1930’s, Coca Cola created the image of Santa Claus as we know it. A jolly man in the red suit and long white beard, looking over his list of good girls and boys. Though based on characters identified by Charles Dickens and other authors, Santa was finally visualized in a way that no one had accomplished earlier. The image caught on like wildfire and today we can hardly imagine a different image of the man with the toys.

So it’s quite relevant that Coca Cola’s beautiful 2014 Christmas commercial has a wonderful old-fashioned flavor to it that brings us back to the 1930’s and the magic of that Santa Claus identity.

For some time, Coke has used the theme of “Open Happiness” in their advertising. It’s a decent branding theme, but this ad is exceptional in bringing that message to life. The little things we do for others can create happiness in their lives.

The commercial is shot with an old-fashioned look that brings you back to those origins of Coca Cola. Though modern-day events are shown, the visuals are muted and soft, with a classic feeling throughout the piece. Editing is simple and clean, further contributing to that emphasis.

What I appreciate the most about this ad is that it doesn’t just show people handing others a bottle of Coke, which is exactly what lesser efforts would do. Of course you see that happen but it’s secondary to the main message of doing small things for others — looking for opportunities to create happiness in their lives. Beautiful message and beautifully presented in this commercial. There’s even a sensitive moment reflecting the true story of New York Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo giving a homeless man a pair of boots. And how perfect to use Louis Armstrong’s classic piece for the audio!

George Pytlik

George Pytlik has been involved in the advertising industry for over 30 years and designed his first website when the Internet was one year old. He was an internationally recognized speaker on advertising and branding and served on a number of communication committees at various times throughout his career, as well as writing a regular column for Marketing magazine.

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