It’s a familiar, Christmassy sight: a fleet of twinkling Coca-Cola trucks making their way across a snowy landscape. This is how you know that holidays are coming.

The trucks have become Christmassy icons since they were launched on TV in 1995. These days, you can get even closer to the magic as the trucks head up and down the UK on our annual Christmas Truck Tour. Here’s the lowdown on their rise to super-stardom!

1995

The Coca-Cola Christmas trucks are created by agency W.B. Doner for a new seasonal advertising campaign. Known as ‘Christmas Caravans’, the illuminated lorries are made more enchanting with special effects by the world-famous Industrial Light and Magic, the company behind the Star Wars films.

Images of the Coca-Cola Santa by artist Haddon Sundblom decorate the sides of the trucks. Just before the ad ends, we see Santa raising his bottle in a holiday toast.

1996

The trucks introduce all-new Coca-Cola Christmas packaging. The ‘Santa packs’ feature heritage Sundblom imagery and are available in the USA, the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, Singapore and the Philippines.

1998

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

1999

‘Journey’ is filmed in snowy Vancouver, Canada using three trucks (which computer generation turns into a whole fleet), and a cast of 40 actors. In the advert, the trucks spring to life in front of a boy and his grandfather as they sit at home reading a Christmas storybook.