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Historical Events  Brands
Father Christmas

When did the fat bearded, red and white Father Christmas image first become popular?

MMDE: 1850

Current: 1931

When did the image of the Father Christmas we know today become popular? We think of him as a large, rotund man dressed in red and white fur with a big jolly beard, but this image has an origin which surprises many people who just assume he's been around this way for hundreds of years.

In fact this image was popularised in the 1930's by - of all things - a Coca-Cola advertising campaign. It did exist already, having been created shortly before, but wasn't widely known until they adopted it for a 30 year plus advertising campaign.

In fact until then there was the idea of Father Christmas, but no common image of what he looked like. 

He sometimes was shown as anything ranging from a tall, priest-like figure to even a small elf!

Twas the Night Before Christmas

The first Coca-Cola ad ran in 1931, in The Saturday Evening Post.

coca cola father christmas 480x350