All year both adults and children alike look forward to the contemplative, silent time of the year when the town sparkles with thousands of lights, the Christmas markets entice with the sweet scents of gingerbread and mulled wine, children’s eyes wide in joyful anticipation as they compile their lists for Santa Claus and the eager customers seduced by everything in sight.

For many businesses, Christmas time is the most important time of the year and produces the highest revenue. So the marketing plans are worked out during summer at the latest and the whole communication concentrates on the Christmas sales. One campaign follows another – to gain the interest of customers and to stand out from the competition, businesses are on the offensive. The competition heavy market provides the creative minds in the marketing departments several challenges. Innovative or traditional and proven? Creativity knows no boundaries.

There are a handful of large companies which always use the Christmas period in an exemplary manner and turn their product into an absolute bestseller over and over again. One of these companies is Coca-Cola. In the last 30 years, the company designed an ingenious Christmas campaign, which rewrote history and brought marketing to a new level. The group took inspiration for their campaign from the figure of Santa Claus and created a costume in the well know Coca-Cola red and white. What was supposedly only a random idea of the graphic designer, who traced an image of his dead friend, forms our concept of Santa Claus. The Coca-Cola colors have become an integral part of the Christmas season. The company obviously rolls out a fresh campaign each year. The soft drink producer always tries to outdo the previous year and always delivers a new Santa Claus campaign. The concept always remains the same – it has proven to be successful over the decades: A Coca-Cola truck drives through the town and brings houses, streets and the children’s eyes to light. This doesn’t sound so spectacular and doesn’t actually fit the Christian tradition of Christmas, but it works. Along with the TV advert and the cross-media campaign, Coca-Cola also uses other effective marketing techniques. The group has worked for many years with brand ambassadors who have helped to strengthen the Christmas campaign and make the brand omnipresent. The songs for the Coca-Cola Christmas campaign have already been sung by many famous pop singers and have even stormed the Charts. Can it get any better? Yes is the answer. The company is connecting with its consumers again this year with the Coca-Cola Truck traveling across the country. A pinch of charity rounds off the perfect marketing Christmas recipe.

In the last few years Coca-Cola has had to fight against the bad reputation of unhealthy drinks and for a start orientated itself towards sugar-free alternatives and ended up with “healthy” sweeteners as an alternative. However, despite the warnings from health ministers and the bad reputation, Coca-Cola is still the undisputed bestseller of soft drinks.

If it creates a brand which makes history and becomes part of tradition then the marketing department has done everything right. Today we have to ensure that we offer some form of education so that our descendants are able to distinguish the baby Jesus or Father Christmas or St. Nicholas from the Coca-Cola advert.

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