Iconic Coca-Cola Santa Created at Westward Lookby Hot Off The Press (Release) on Dec. 04, 2012, under Press Releases
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Iconic Coca-Cola Santa Created at Westward Look
Haddon Sundblom illustrations changed the look of Christmas since the ’30s
Tucson, Ariz. (Nov. 29, 2012) – Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa has been tucked away in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains for the past century – a far cry from the urban hustle and bustle of New York City’s famed advertising hub Madison Avenue. Strange as it may seem, though, Tucson’s first and finest resort, Coca-Cola and one of the top “Mad Men” of the Golden Age of Advertising did collaborate to change the face of Christmas.
The soda company didn’t set out to create a pop culture icon, but rather was stumped on how to get Americans to drink Coke in winter months. The resulting ad campaign, “Thirst Knows No Season,” began in the 1920s and eventually began to embrace the idea of using Santa Claus to associate the soda with winter holidays. Coca-Cola commissioned artist Haddon “Sunny” Sundblom (1899-1976), who wintered at Westward Look in the early 1930s. Sundblom took inspiration from Clement Moore’s “A Visit From St. Nicholas (’Twas the Night Before Christmas)” and a Tucson friend, Lou Prentiss, as inspiration. Later, Sundblom replaced his own face as Santa’s after Prentiss’s death, and used the daughters of Westward Look’s then owner in his Coca-Cola Santa drawings, which were an instant hit. “Sundblom didn’t simply paint a costumed character,” said Philip Mooney, director of archives for Coca-Cola, “he made Santa a human being graced with the gift of immortality, and a physical manifestation of Christmas that was destined to endure.”
While Sundblom’s name is indelibly linked to the Coca-Cola Santa, the Michigan-born artist also gave us the iconic images of Aunt Jemima and the Quaker Oats man. His illustrations graced The Saturday Evening Post, The Ladies’ Home Journal and Woman’s Home Companion. He also drew ads for the Ford, Maxwell House, Palmolive soap, Colgate toothpaste and Cashmere Bouquet body powder.
Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa Resort’s Tinaja Desert Gallery, located upstairs at the resort, houses Sundblom’s memorabilia and drawings for visitors and locals alike to enjoy.
- Original paintings
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Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa is set in the foothills of Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains on 80 acres of pristine Sonoran Desert. It offers 241 guestrooms, two award-winning restaurants, a chef’s garden, the Sonoran Spa, eight tennis courts, desert hiking trails, on-site stables for horseback riding and multiple pools. Since 2010, the resort has been named an AAA Four Diamond Award® recipient each year, which honors the hotel for its commitment to excellence throughout the entire property, including GOLD restaurant, the resort’s extensive array of amenities, guest services and its attention to detail. More information is available by calling (800) 722-2500 or visiting www.westwardlook.com.
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Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC, a subsidiary of Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: WYN), offers upscale hotel and resort accommodations throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, China and the Caribbean. All Wyndham® hotels are either franchised by the company or managed by Wyndham Hotel Management, Inc., one of its affiliates or through a joint-venture partner. Additional information and reservations for all Wyndham hotels are available by calling (800) WYNDHAM (800-996-3426) or by visiting www.wyndham.com.
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