World’s best ads ever #21: Coca-Cola ushers in the holidays with cheery truck caravan
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The soft beverage giant has been associated with the holiday season since it began employing images of jolly Saint Nick alongside its glass-bottled cola in the 1930s. But Coca-Cola brought the connection to the next level in 1995 when it aired ‘Holidays are Coming’, a bright musical spot made in collaboration with Southfield, Michigan-based ad agency WB Doner.
The spot depicts the brand’s first Christmas Caravan, a fleet of decked-out trucks featuring bells, lights and, of course, Coca-Cola branding. WB Doner teamed up with special effects company Industrial Light and Magic, whose work has appeared in Forrest Gump, Star Wars and Indiana Jones’ Raiders of the Lost Ark. The firm created realistic 18-wheeler prop trucks for the spot, which sees a train of sparkling vehicles weaving through forests and neighborhoods, spreading light and holiday joy in its wake.
After recycling the concept year after year, Coca-Cola in 2001 brought the caravan to life with real trucks that toured the US. Over the years, the brand has expanded its fleet: the trucks now appear in the UK, Australia and other markets around the world during the holidays.
For many consumers, ‘Holidays are Coming’ and Coke’s Christmas Caravan are themselves synonymous with holiday cheer.