The Myth behind Santa Claus

Fear not – you won’t find any festive spoilers here. In fact, in this exposé we will be exposing the truth behind the big man’s clothing… and more specifically its color.

The iconic image of Santa Claus in red is one that has long been etched into our societal traditions, Christmas cards, and festive food packages. In fact, this image is so widespread that it is also apparent and mentioned in festive songs, in children’s stories, in movies and tv programmes.

But as is so often the case, reinforcing an ideology doesn’t necessarily make it true. And the idea that Santa Claus has always existed in his red suit is simply not the whole truth.

The thing is, Santa Claus exists in stories long before the modern figure in red and white became a well known and loved tradition. Stories ranged from him being based on the religious and gift-giving figure St Nicholas, to being a legendary character who was created in Western culture to make children believe that they would be rewarded or punished for good or bad behaviour.

Crucially, these earliest stories say nothing about a dedicated red and white suit – and it is only through more modern marketing campaigns that the figure came to be who he is today.

The Coca Cola Influence

When you think about the Coca Cola brand, red and white immediately springs to mind. Sound familiar?

Yes, it is through the Coca Cola Christmas campaign that Santa Claus came to be seen in his now world famous attire – showing how truly pinnacle coloring and perception is in curating and developing that first impression, especially in branding and brand recognition.

In short, when you see Santa you think of Coca Cola, and when you see Coca Cola you can’t help but think of Santa. If that isn’t clever marketing, then we don’t know what is!

Interestingly still, the reason for this campaign was to help Coca Cola to be perceived as a drink for winter as well as summer – with the brand previously believing that some may relegate their beverage to the warmer months only. By presenting Coca Cola as a drink favoured by Santa Claus, they were able to give their brand a wintery spin and place it in the hands of a world famous influencer – instantly. All while presenting their own spin on the man himself.

How to Use this Lesson for your Own Gain

Let’s think about what this really means in the world of style.

Coca Cola weren’t happy with how they were being portrayed to a winter audience, so they created a figure who would represent them in the best possible way, using their branding colors for his outfit. They did this so successfully that their creation is now the iconic image of Christmas we all know and love today.

So how can we do the same in our own image and style?

It’s all about first impressions, perception, and how you adjust your style and your image to suit the situation, the season, or the occasional goal. Santa in red is an icon we don’t even need to think about – similarly, the way we each individually use our styling traits and characteristics becomes our own form of branding that tells everyone who we are.

This doesn’t have to be an outfit. It could be an accessory that captures who you are; it could be a hair color or a hairstyle. It could even be the way you introduce and present yourself to other people.

The fact is that without that pinnacle style decision, Santa would not be the iconic figure he is today. And we can and should be employing the same techniques to give ourselves that boost of self-branding confidence that lets the world know who we are – without having to say a word.

After all, that’s what style is all about.


Breathing life into your Christmas closet

This Christmas, make it a season to remember by elevating your everyday style with a little something extra. Think about ways to add color and sparkle through:

  • Accessories
  • Shoes
  • Fixer-Upper garments (e.g., sew new shiny buttons onto an old cardigan or add embellished shoulders to a plain sweater)
  • Try a vibrant shade of an everyday color in your closet (e.g., hot pink or scarlet red)
  • Dress up a plain dress with a sparkly cardigan or jacket
  • Don’t forget hosiery – a glittery pair of tights can add character to any outfit

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