Unwrapping the History and Impact of Christmas MusicDecember 06, 2023
The Early Melodies:
The roots of commercial Christmas music can be traced back to the 1930s and 1940s, with artists like Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra dominating the airwaves with timeless classics. These early renditions laid the foundation for the holiday music genre, establishing a connection between Christmas and the warm, nostalgic emotions that these songs evoked.
As the years progressed, marketers began to recognize the power of audio in shaping and strengthening brand identity. One notable example is Coca-Cola, whose iconic Christmas campaigns have left an indelible mark on the holiday season.
The introduction of the Coca-Cola polar bears in the ‘90s along with the classic “Holidays are Coming” jingle became synonymous with the festive period, ingraining the brand into the collective consciousness of consumers during Christmas.
Coca‑Cola’s iconic Christmas ad signals the beginning of the holiday season for nearly half of Brits, with 67% finding the famous jingle gets stuck in their heads and over a third finding themselves singing it 1-3 times a day. (Source: Coca-Cola)
The Golden Age of Jingles:
The 1950s and 1960s witnessed the rise of jingles – short, catchy musical snippets designed to promote products. Coca-Cola, again at the forefront, embraced the trend with jingles that incorporated festive elements, turning their commercials into annual holiday traditions. The “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” campaign, although not exclusively Christmas-themed, is an enduring example of how brands used music to evoke a sense of unity and goodwill during the holiday season.
Commercial Christmas music, as exemplified by Coca-Cola, plays a crucial role in enhancing brand equity during the holiday season. The emotional resonance of their jingles and campaigns creates a positive association between the brand and the joyous sentiments of Christmas, fostering a sense of warmth and connection among consumers.
Another example of holiday classics is the iconic Christmas special “From All of Us to All of You” from Disney. Presented every year during Christmas since 1958, this special has become a cherished tradition, particularly in the Nordic countries. Disney’s ability to blend beloved characters with timeless holiday tunes showcases the enduring appeal of Christmas themed music and shows, creating magical and heartwarming experiences for audiences of all ages.
Adaptation in the Digital Age:
Coca-Cola’s strategic use of Christmas music has resulted in lasting impressions that extend beyond the holiday season. The “Holidays are Coming” jingle, in particular, has become an auditory hallmark, being brought back every year in a fresh gift-wrapping, signaling the beginning of the festive season for millions of people worldwide.
In the age of digital marketing, Coca-Cola continues to leverage the impact of Christmas music. Their holiday campaigns extend across various platforms, utilizing social media and streaming services to share festive content and engage with consumers in real-time. As a matter of fact, Coca Cola launched its ‘The World Needs More Santas’ campaign for this year’s holiday season, contributing to Coca-Cola’s ongoing legacy of creating memorable and emotionally resonant holiday experiences.
It’s safe to say that Coca-Cola, Disney and other legacy brands’ ability to adapt and stay relevant in the digital landscape underscores the enduring influence of audio branding during the holidays.
As we unwrap the history of commercial Christmas holiday music, the impact of brands like Coca-Cola becomes a melody within the larger symphony of the season. The marriage of brands and festive tunes transforms the holiday season into a sensory experience, and Coca-Cola’s legacy serves as a testament to the enduring power of audio in shaping our holiday traditions and memories. The same can be applied to other events of the year, including New Year’s Eve, Halloween, Ramadan etc.
So, as you sip on your Coca-Cola and listen to those familiar tunes, remember that behind the melodies lies strategic branding that has become an integral part of the way we experience and connect with our favorite brands during the holidays!