Is Santa the Greatest Gimmick On Earth ?

Is Santa the Greatest Gimmick On Earth

Santa Clause Gimmick !!

Today , the modern Santa Claus represents  trillion dollars  industry , it  makes him the greatest seller in the world . Is Santa the Greatest Gimmick On Earth ?

The modern day  Santa Claus image, portly stature, bushy beard and red outfit,  owns much to the concerted approach of Coca Cola to mingle Santa Claus well with its brand promotion showing Santa Claus in multiple actions / selling its product/s . Is Santa the Greatest Gimmick On Earth ?

The story began almost a century back ,  when Haddon Sundblom  portrayed  Santa’s first appearance in Cola advertising in 1931.

He drew inspiration from Saint  Nicholas’ image  . He had probably not  invented  but selected it from the many contemporary portrayals of  Father Christmas .

The Trillion Dollar Gimmick

This business gimmick of  Coca Cola certainly went a long way in building and establishing well the super “Global  Brand” of Coca  Cola as we see  it today .

Many of the early Coca Cola advertisements featured Santa surrounded by kids and a Coca Cola in his hand.

Not to say that product  branding of Coca Cola with Santa Claus  has helped amass trillions and trillions of dollar, over the last century , as profit . Is Santa the Greatest Gimmick On Earth ?

Other’s Hoping on the Bandwagon

Quickly , seeing the phenomenal  success of this tactic ,  a number of other brands like Samsung , Starbucks , Mc Donald’s , Netflix , John Lewis , Costa Coffee also joined the band wagon and successfully promoted and build their brand globally .

Every year ,  global markets get flooded with products showing Santa tag in one way or the other , 2-3 months in advance of Christmas every year .

Every company , big or small , finds this business tactic catchy and easy to attract customers attraction .

The Omnipresent Santa

Probably not a single country in the world has remained untouched with the craze for Santa Claus .

Be it USA , U.K. , Europe or  Asia Santa Claus magic can be seen from the mid of October , over  three months in advance .

Big malls , small shopping  entities , schools , colleges , restaurants , star hotels , travel companies , real estate firms , food and grocery shops , garment and toy companies spruce up themselves to rope in as much as possible during the Christmas season , sitting on the Santa Claus band wagon .

Not to mention that the combined efforts of brand promoters , big or small entrepreneurs , marketing persons , department stores and  malls has helped catapult  the present day highly commercialized Santa Claus .

The Peak Selling Season

Undoubtedly , Christmas is a peak selling season for retailers all over the world .

With peoples buying spree going crazy levels , sales of gifts , decorations , and supplies to celebrate , see a dramatic boost .

The “Christmas shopping season” in USA starts as early as October .

An Overview of Customers’ Inclination On Christmas
Gift CardsAlmost 60 per cent customers buy attractive Christmas Gift cards .
Media StuffGames , Videos , music or books make another point of attraction for buying on Christmas .
ToysThe most of the family persons prefer toys as a gift item on Christmas .
Food or CandySale of Food and Candy items also sees high during Christmas .
Health CareThe sale of personal health care and beauty items also rise phenomenally .
Home DecorSome individuals go for up gradation  of home or office furniture  on Christmas .
Sports GoodsLeisure and sports goods are purchased as per the need of customers on Christmas .
JewelryThe sale Jewelry looks up during Christmas celebrations as some of affluent persons take it as a matter of social status to buy jewelry on festivals like Christmas .
An Overview of Customers’ Inclination On Christmas

The Greatest Symbol of Quality

Today , the charm of seeing Santa’s image with product  posters have gone to gigantic level .

It has become people’s general tendency to judge a product’s quality by seeing whether the Santa Claus  is promoting the product or not .

It won’t be unjustified if I say that  people , all over the world , while making a purchase , tend to prefer the products showing Santa  himself  promoting the product .

Indeed , Santa Claus has become a guarantee of good quality .

Best Marketer for Any Product

It is , however , not surprising that Santa’s influence  is not restricted to one product or any one type of product .

The super charm of Santa Claus effectively works on every  sector on earth . Whether  it  is  confectionary , grocery , real estate , garments , toys , automobiles , courses or anything else .

If a company  has used Santa Claus in its product/s promotion then it is bound to make good sale in the Christmas season every year .

Global Buying Habit on Christmas

A study shows that Christmas buying habits are common all over the world . However , it varies , depending on the culture and trends , from country to country .

The most spending country on Christmas is Romania followed by Czech Republic , USA, UK , Italy , Spain , France & Poland .

A comparative list of major nationals spending the percentage of their income on Christmas celebrations is given below :

Global RankCountryPercentage of  Monthly Income
1Romania32 %
2Czech Republic25 %
3USA & UK15 %
Major nationals spending the percentage of their income on Christmas celebrations

People spend their  money on a number of things such as gifts, food, vacations and outings .

Major Events which Catapulted Santa

Merchants in Canada begin their advertising campaigns just before Halloween ie. 31st October . Consequently, they  step up their marketing following Remembrance Day on 11 November.

Similarly, in the UK and Ireland, the Christmas shopping season starts from mid November, around the time when high street Christmas lights are turned on. 

At the same time , there have some been major events in the global commercial history which also contributed in making Santa Claus  the greatest business gimmick on the earth A brief detail of such events is given as under :

Santa Claus as a Brand Ambassador


The British multinational confectionary company Cadbury has been adding a real taste to the festival Christmas with its globally popular products like Chocolate varieties, cakes , chocolate drinks , coffee etc.

Santa Claus prominently  features in all of the company products’ promotional activities . Probably , Cadbury is among the top companies in the world which has reaped , during the past century,  uncountable profits during the celebrations of Christmas by using Santa as a forefront  business “model” .

Penguins Books

As a publisher of bestselling fiction, nonfiction, classics and children’s books , Penguin Books have always been active on social media and taken Christmas as an opportunity to relate themselves with the Santa craze by illustrating their books and company brand with Christmas related photos .


The Starbucks is a mega Coffee brand. It is well known for using Christmas related images on it Cups and other publishing materials to attract coffee lovers’ attention.

London Drugs

This is a world famous chain of Canadian retail stores . It basically deals in pharmaceuticals, electronics, housewares, and cosmetics and grocery items.

It aesthetically changes its publicity material , as the Christmas approaches , using Santa Claus images in a rather interesting manner .


Target is one of the top ten largest departmental stores  in USA . It also molds its publicity as per the mood of Christmas . They largely base their publicity on the traditional red and white ambiance.

Costa Coffee

The Coca Cola had recently acquired this company . Costa Coffee is famous for making great coffee as well as for changing coffee cups’  format, size & colors for Christmas.


Netflix has recently produced a movie namedThe Christmas Chronicles” . It is a story of sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about.


This electronic giant has presented multiple products in one single photo in a beautifully designed box that one can easily gift to one’s loved ones.

Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters focuses both on online & offline presence of the brand. It also puts up a photogenic display on its shops .


Putting Merry Christmas on its cars publicity posters is Mercedes Benz’s special style to garner customers’ instant  attraction .

A class brand , Mercedes-Benz  highlights Christmas tree by highlighting star through its logo which is a brilliant promotional  idea using Christmas as a focus of advertising .


Santa Claus’s hat with the froth is indeed a great advertisement created by the global Beer leader  InBev  .

This is a great example of an artistic advertising keeping Christmas festival at the center which makes it  a perfect way to kick start Christmas marketing campaign .


Every year Kit Kat launches  promotional campaigns in a rather  unique and funny way which becomes highlight of its activities during Christmas sales , giving the company high dividends .


This global beer brand has taken up a social motive in its Christmas advertising theme. The hidden advise of avoid driving in a drunken state takes the brand image to another level .


The fries shaped as Christmas tree and wishing all their customers a Merry Christmas. McDonalds’ very simple and effective advertising thoughts has sky rocketed and taken the brand image to unreachable heights for many of its  competitors.


The subtle  use of Christmas Tree in this eye catchy advertisement by the Tide makes it  unique and very effective .

It is  a great example for other companies which try to make something different to lure the customers on the eve of Christmas .

It also emphasizes on the fact that how the global companies are trying everything to  encash  the mega event  by making innovative promotional campaigns and advertisements .

Domino’s Pizza

The leading pizza joint, Domino’s  also creates eye catchy advertisements to give sleepless nights to its competitors on Christmas  .

Its clean designs adds on the festivity mood of pizza lovers and they are easily tempted to enjoy pizza varieties converting the giant’s promotional efforts into huge profits .


With its clever and unique style of presentation, Hellmanns succeeds in reminding the consumers that Hellmanns is the best choice of mayonnaise  for Christmas .

R2 Fitness Club

During the Christmas season , nothing better way to advertise a fitness club than the one adopted by the R2 Fitness Club .

With its highly creative advertising ideas , R2 Fitness Club easily ropes in good income during the Christmas .

Evolution of the Commercial Santa Claus

Santa Clause is regarded as the symbol of Christmas . However , what  began as a religious festival has now transformed into a highly commercialized business affair .

Every year , just before the Christmas people go on a thoughtless  buying spree and make the event a money minting affair for every  business entity , big or small , all over the world .

Beginning of Santa’s Transformation

The modern day looks of Santa Claus is of recent  happening . Prior to 1931 , Santa Claus was depicted from a tall gaunt man to a spooky looking elf .

He donned a bishop’s robe and a Norse huntsman’s animal skin. In the year 1862 , Thomas Nast , a well-known cartoonist , drew Santa Claus for Harper’s Weekly  like a small elflike figure who supported the Union.

For the next about 30 years , Nast continued to sketch Santa Claus and  changed the color of his coat from tan to the red .

Coke Advertisements Featured Santa Claus Since the 1920s

Later on , in 1920 , Coca Cola  started its Christmas publicity campaigns with magazines like The Saturday Evening Post .

The first Santa Claus advertisement  by Coca Cola used a serious , strict looking Santa Claus, in the vein of Thomas Nast .

However, in the year 1930, Fred Mizen painted a department store with Santa drinking a bottle of Coke .

The Modern Image of Santa Owns Much To Coca Cola

In 1931 , Coca Cola began its marketing campaigns showing a  wholesome Santa Claus which  looked very realistic .

So, Coca-Cola commissioned Haddon Sundblom , a Michigan born illustrator, to develop advertising images showing Santa himself in the advertisement instead of showing another man dressed like  Santa .
It was the beginning of a new era . For the next over 30 years , (1931 to 1964 ) , Coca Cola advertisements showed Santa Claus delivering toys, playing with them , pausing to read a letter ,  enjoying a Coke  and mingling with the cheerful children .

Now , Santa could be seen everywhere , from magazines to on store displays, billboards, posters, calendars and plush dolls .
In 1964 , H. Sundblom created final version of Santa Claus and for the next several decades Coca Cola  featured images of Santa based on Sundblom’s original works , in all of  its advertisements , which are the most prized paintings today in the company’s archives .

“Sprite Boy” Became New Friend of Santa Claus

“Sprite Boy” Became  New Friend of Santa Claus

In 1942 Sundblom , introduced the “Sprite Boy,” a character who appeared with Santa Claus in Coca Cola advertisements . Sprite Boy  got his name due to the fact that he was a sprite or an elf.


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