History of the Coca‑Cola trucks

Fun facts about our iconic red Christmas trucks

Coca‑Cola Christmas trucks

It’s a familiar sight on our TV screens at Christmas: a fleet of twinkling Coca‑Cola trucks making their way across a snowy landscape and lighting up the country as part of our ‘Holidays are Coming’ ad.

The illuminated vehicles have become global advertising icons since they launched on TV back in 1995. Nowadays, you can get even closer to the magic as the Coca‑Cola trucks head up and down the UK on our nationwide Christmas truck tour.

History of the Coca‑Cola Christmas trucks

1995 – The Coca‑Cola Christmas trucks were first created by agency W.B. Doner for the company’s new seasonal advertising campaign. Known as ‘Christmas Caravans’, the illuminated vehicles were made even more enchanting with special effects by the world-famous Industrial Light and Magic – who had previously worked on Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Did you know? Three 18-wheel ‘props’, each covered in more than 30,000 bulbs, were used to make the 1995 ad and crafted to look like a never-ending fleet of trucks

Images of the Coca‑Cola Santa by artist Haddon Sundblom decorate the sides of the trucks. Just before the ad ends, the Santa on the back of the final truck raises his bottle of Coca‑Cola in a holiday toast.

1996 – The trucks returned in 1996 and helped to introduce our new Coca‑Cola Christmas packaging. The ‘Santa packs’ featured our heritage Sundblom imagery and were available in the USA, the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, Singapore, and the Philippines.

1998 – The ‘Christmas Caravan III’ advert was broadcast in more than 100 different countries to millions of viewers. It remains one of the most widely-used Coca‑Cola commercials ever produced.

1999 - ‘Journey’, the fourth advert in the Coca‑Cola truck series, was released. The footage sees the trucks spring to life in front of a young boy and his grandfather as they sit at home reading a Christmas storybook. The advert was filmed in snowy Vancouver, Canada using three trucks (which computer generation later made look like a never-ending fleet of trucks), and a cast of 40 people.

Join the Coca‑Cola trucks on tour!

We’re sending our trucks on a UK-wide tour to help spread festive cheer in the run up to Christmas. See the Coca‑Cola trucks in all their glory at one of the stops on the Christmas truck tour – get the full details here.

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