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Caravan of Cheer: Coca-Cola Christmas Trucks Spread Holiday Happiness

By:  Journey Staff Dec 23, 2013
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It’s a familiar sight during the holiday season: a fleet of twinkling Coca-Cola trucks making their way across a snowy landscape and lighting up the countryside.

The illuminated vehicles have become global advertising icons and symbols of holiday happiness since first gracing the TV airwaves nearly two decades ago. Now, in communities around the world, caravans of real-life Coca-Cola Christmas Trucks spread holiday cheer and refreshment with family events throughout the month of December.

The Coca-Cola Christmas Trucks are based on a festive fleet of magical vehicles created in 1995 by ad agency W.B. Doner for a seasonal Coca-Cola campaign. The trucks were made even more enchanting by special effects from renowned company Industrial Light and Magic, which had worked on the blockbuster movies Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Forrest Gump.

In the commercial, three 18-wheel “props” were crafted into a seemingly endless caravan of Coke trucks, passing through hillsides, valleys and towns. Each 40-ft., 2-ton “light brite” on wheels featured more than 30,000 bulbs. Images of the Coca‑Cola Santa by artist Haddon Sundblom decorates the sides of the trucks. At the end of the spot, the Santa on the back of the final truck raises his bottle of Coca‑Cola in a holiday toast. Follow-up ads have appeared in more than 100 countries throughout the years, including this one signaling the start of the 2009 holiday season.

The Coca-Cola Christmas Caravan hit the road again this year. Take a look at the slideshow above for select images from its magical voyage through Europe.