There are some who say the true color of Santa Claus’ clothes is green, so we’ve asked our team members here at F.Fonseca, we wanted to find out what’s (to them) the real color of Santa Claus’ clothes and the answer was pretty unanimous: they think green looks a lot better than red… everywhere except Santa’s clothes!
93% - Red 🏆
7% - Green
If there is a Christmas icon it’s Santa Claus, the captivating bearded character who dresses in all red and gives children gifts.

There are a few urban legends about the birth and popularization of this character, as well as the contribution of Coca-Cola to this fact.
But few know the real story!

The first appearances of the character Santa Claus can be found in illustrations from mid-19th century. However, until the 1930s, the image of this chubby character varied a lot, depending on the artist or the occasion on which he was drawn. He could be anything from a small elf to a tall, thin man wearing all sorts of garments, such as robes or fur coats. Although many people believed that Santa dressed in red in relation to Coca Cola, he had already worn red clothing numerous occasions.

Santa Claus first appeared in a Coca Cola ad in 1920, in an illustration published in The Saturday Evening Post. With a serious appearance, the first Santa Claus was created by illustrator Thomas Nast. For some years Coca Cola used, for its different advertisements, drawings of this character developed by other illustrators.

Santa Claus in the Coca-Cola Christmas advertisement in the 1920s had a more serious look.


Coca Cola was already very popular in the 1920s, although the drink was mostly enjoyed in the summer. To boost sales in the colder months, Archie Lee of the D'Arcy advertising agency came up with the first slogan "Thirst knows no time or season," and created the first ads featuring Santa Claus, although he was very different then than he is today.

Since the late 19th century, Santa had been portrayed as a rather serious and somewhat scruffy character, sometimes taking the form of an elf. But in 1930, Coca Cola began to spread a very different image of him. Artist Fred Mizen's painting of a man dressed as Santa Claus drinking a Coke in a mall was much jollier. Still, it failed to make Santa Claus a character in his own right.

Fred Mizen painted Santa Claus drinking a coke in 1930 and that painting went on to be used as Christmas advertising for the brand.


Santa Claus as we know him appeared in 1931 by the hand of cartoonist Haddon Sundblom, at the request of D'Arcy, Coca Cola's advertising agency. The goal was to create a character between the symbolic and the real, the personification of the Christmas spirit and the happiness of Coca Cola. For this, the illustrator was inspired by the poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas", by Clement Clark Moore.

The image of the Coca-Cola Santa Claus, that we all know, is the work of illustrator Haddon Sundblom, from 1931 to 1964.

Based on St. Nicholas, Sundblom created an endearing, warm and friendly character that quickly made an impression on the public and helped determine the definitive image of Santa Claus. Sundblom designed Santa Claus for Coca Cola every year until 1964, although more pieces were created later based on his work.



More Santa Claus trivia

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