In a heartwarming departure from its typical product-centric approach, Coca-Cola’s highly anticipated 2023 Christmas ad, titled ‘The World Needs More Santas,’ emphasises the power of kindness in our lives.

According to the trademark Coca-Cola global creative, strategy, and content lead, this year’s campaign revolves around the idea that anyone can embrace their inner Santa through acts of kindness. 

Furthermore, they emphasise that kindness has always been one of Coca-Cola’s core values, guiding the brand’s actions and messaging for a considerable period.

A History of Kindness and Christmas Tradition

Coca-Cola’s history of promoting kindness dates back to 2013 when they launched the ‘Kindness goes Viral’ campaign. This initiative followed the remarkable success of their ‘Share a Coke’ campaign and demonstrated the brand’s commitment to spreading positive messages during the holiday season. 

This year’s Christmas campaign aims to embody these values once again, reminding us of the enduring importance of kindness.

Coca-Cola’s association with Christmas and Santa Claus is not a recent development. The iconic ad ‘Wonderful Dream (Holidays are Coming)’ first aired in 1995 and featured Coca-Cola Christmas trucks and Santa himself. 

Remarkably, this ad continues to captivate audiences even after decades, consistently outperforming more modern ads from competing brands.

Double Delight in the UK and Evolving Marketing Strategies

In a delightful twist, Coca-Cola has decided to air both ‘Holidays are Coming’ and ‘The World Needs More Santas’ in the United Kingdom this year. This strategic move reflects Coca-Cola’s dedication to creating deeper connections with consumers during the holiday season.

Coca-Cola’s evolving marketing strategies are evident in its altered media mix. In 2019, the company invested less than 30% of its total media spend in digital channels. However, the landscape has transformed, with Coca-Cola now allocating more than 60% of its budget to digital channels. 

The shift is driven by the changing media consumption habits of young consumers, particularly Gen Z, who are increasingly moving away from traditional TV.

Special TV Moments and Discover Your Santa Archetype

Despite the increased focus on digital channels, Coca-Cola recognises that certain moments, such as Christmas, Ramadan, and the Super Bowl in the United States, deserve the grandeur of a big TV campaign. 

It’s occasions such as these that see a higher-than-average TV viewership, making them ideal opportunities for the brand to connect with a wide audience.

What’s more, the campaign’s interactivity extends to consumers with a quiz that invites them to discover their ‘Santa archetype.’ This engaging feature not only adds a fun element but also encourages social sharing, extending the campaign’s reach even further.

Two-Way, Human-Centric Approach, Measuring Success and ‘Real Magic’ Continues

Coca-Cola’s marketing transformation goes beyond ad spend. The brand is shifting from one-way communication to being more interactive and human-centric. They actively listen to cues from consumers on social media and in real life to learn how to best connect with their audience.

Ultimately, the success of ‘The World Needs More Santas’ will be judged by its ability to increase weekly consumption of Coca-Cola. The company aims to drive both ‘brand love‘ and weekly consumption through its marketing efforts, viewing these goals as complementary rather than contradictory.

Also, ‘The World Needs More Santas’ is part of Coca-Cola’s ongoing brand platform, ‘Real Magic,’ which was launched in 2021. While Coca-Cola has been activating under this platform for two years, the brand is just scratching the surface of its potential, and they have no intentions of abandoning the ‘Real Magic’ platform anytime soon.

Conclusion: Spreading Joy, Kindness, and Refreshment

Coca-Cola’s 2023 Christmas campaign, ‘The World Needs More Santas,’ represents a significant shift in strategy as the brand departs from its traditional product-centric approach to focus on promoting kindness and spreading joy. 

With a rich history intertwined with the holiday season, Coca-Cola seeks to connect with consumers on a deeper, more emotional level, blending tradition with contemporary marketing strategies. 

As the brand continues to evolve, it remains committed to its ‘Real Magic’ platform, aiming to inspire acts of kindness while refreshing consumers’ lives and achieving its commercial goals. 

Coca-Cola’s message this holiday season is clear: in a world that can always use more Santas, a little kindness, and a refreshing Coca-Cola, can go a long way.