Chapter 14 Coca-Cola’s Christmas Fleet Brings Truckloads of Cheer
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Shortly after starting the polar bear campaign, Coca-Cola also introduced their world famous trucks.
The first trucks featured representations of Santa Claus from Cola’s 1930s campaign, and were initially produced using special effects from the company responsible for film franchises such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones, lighting the trucks with more than 30,000 bulbs.
The campaign was developed through the 1990s, introducing Coca-Cola Christmas packs in 1996, and a fleet of trucks in the 1999 advertisement which came to life.
The campaign has been met with resounding popularity. The 1998 ad was broadcast to millions of viewers in more than 100 different countries, and in 2014 the campaign was voted as the UK’s favorite Christmas advertisement ever. Such favor was demonstrated in 2007 when, after a six year absence, Coke was persuaded to re-introduce the campaign after receiving requests from consumers who identified the ad with the beginning of Christmas.
The campaign succeeds in immersing the viewer in a magical world of Christmas. The lit trucks are reminiscent of festive lighting on trees and buildings, the soundtrack repeats ‘holidays are coming’ over sleigh bells, and the trucks themselves magically spring to life.
The public’s willingness to engage with the campaign is highlighted by the Coca-Cola Tour which has trucks visit cities across the UK, and between 2011-15 approximately 3.5 million visitors came to see the trucks, some waiting hours to receive a free Coke.
Holiday Marketing Takeaway
If a Macy’s-style spectacle is impractical, use CGI and other effects to create a computerized one.