Displaying items by tag: CocaCola

As we’re now (already?!) in December and the festive spirit is well under way, we thought what better topic to blog about than a bit of Christmas design and marketing!

As we’ve mentioned before, the secret to great graphic design isn’t just having a pretty design and some compelling content. The real secret is in the psychology and consumer behavior this encourages - it’s about knowing what colours and imagery will affect the consumer in a certain way. This is certainly true when it comes to seasonal advertising/marketing campaigns, and a particularly good example of this is with Coca-Cola’s Christmas truck.

The Coca-Cola Christmas truck first appeared on TV in the famous Christmas advert in 1995 and has become something of an icon, indicating that the festive season has officially begun. Now in its eighth year, the twinkling truck travels round the UK, visiting towns and cities for people to snap a selfie with the truck, while enjoying a free can of Coke.

Here’s the truck, with an Ely Cathedral backdrop, when it visited Ely in 2013.

What do you think or feel when you see the Coca-Cola Christmas Truck? For me, it makes me think that I better get online and do some last minute present buying! But, I also feel the joy of Christmas, that tingly festive feeling! This isn't just luck or something Coca-Cola are hoping to achieve, it’s clever design. The design of the truck and original advertising, is made to trigger these emotions, to help connect us to the brand. This is made successful by including themes, colours and images in the design which are relevant to the emotions Coca-Cola want us to feel,  for example: Christmas lights, festive colours and Father Christmas. This design has them all! It’s more than just a fancy truck. It’s been carefully designed to make me, and everyone else, feel the way we do about the Christmas truck. This is done through great choice of colour and picking the most relevant image they could.


The colour

The colour red connotes love and passion, and is also the colour that attracts more attention than any other. You won't be able to find the Coca-Cola red in any pantone book… it’s not in there! This is because it’s a mixture of 3 different red Pantones combined, to create the iconic Coca-Cola red that is used across all their branding. It’s also obviously associated with Santa Claus, with Christmas and is distinctly recognisable from afar!

Now, some may say that Coca-Cola were lucky with their choice of brand colour, as the first time they used red was to distinguish their barrels from those containing alcohol. This was because alcohol was taxed, but fizzy drinks were not, so it was really just to help out the tax man (I’m sure they’re not as helpful to him these days)! Since this time Coca-Cola’s brand colour has come a long way, from just a lucky pick, to the iconic colour it is today.


The imagery

In this image you can see the simplicity of the design of the truck. It's basically a massive red truck with fairy lighting around the edges, Coca-Cola written on the side and a great big image of Santa Claus holding his Coca-Cola bottles. It might not be the most imaginative of designs, but it is certainly memorable!

A little known fact, is that Santa Claus hasn’t always been shown as the warming, plump and friendly figure that he is today. Historic versions vary a lot, but he has been portrayed in many other ways and certainly didn't used to wear a coat coloured in Coca-Cola’s brand red! Santa Claus has historically been shown as an elf like figure who looked quite eerie, and it wasn't until 1931 when artist, Haddon Sundblom, created the images of Santa Claus for The Coca-Cola Company. Sundblom portrayed Santa as this lovely elderly-looking man, with a piercing white beard in a red and white suit, who is always jolly and happy. It was here the Father Christmas we know and love today was born.

Coca-Cola have been rather clever with the design and implementation of this national marketing campaign., With having only a single Christmas truck, visiting just 24 locations this year, a demand has been created for people to see it. Everyone who does get to see the Coca-Cola’s red Christmas truck is going to want to take a picture with it and post it on social media, creating an even bigger buzz!


If you would like to visit the Coca-Cola truck this year, then you can see where the truck is visiting here.


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Published in Branding
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