Holidays are coming: inside Coca Cola’s 2019 Christmas campaign

Written by Hannah Ward: Managing director.
· 3 minute read

Like the annual John Lewis advert, for many people Coca Cola’s “Holidays are coming” ad marks the official start of Christmas. But unlike the John Lewis ad, Coca Cola haven’t had a team of marketers working like Santa’s elves all year to come up with a brand new concept; instead they stick with the tried and tested original advert from 1995. Every year, the sight of the same truck rolling into town with the same theme tune sends audiences back to Christmasses gone by and never fails to fill us with that festive feeling: a classic example of ‘if it aint broke…’
The fact that Coca Cola revive the ad every year has helped to make ‘Holidays are coming’ arguably the most famous Christmas TV advert of all time.

However, Coca Cola are by no means resting on their laurels. Yes- the TV ad is the same as years gone by, but each year Coca Cola build on the campaign even further via online and offline channels. Kris Robbens, Marketing Director at Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland, commented: “This year, we’ve taken the iconic and much-loved campaign and made it the biggest yet by bringing back the elements people love and adding new partnerships, activity and special moments to bring it to life in even more ways that we hope our existing fans and new ones will love.”

So what are Coca Cola adding to the campaign this year to make it bigger and better than ever?


The Coca Cola Christmas Truck Tour 2019

For the ninth year running, the Coca Cola Christmas Truck will be touring the UK, taking the now-iconic concept off the screen and into real life. The truck will visit 19 locations around the UK, complete with a pop-up winter wonderland setting and the opportunity to sample a can of Coca-Cola zero sugar.

This year Coca Cola is also raising funds and awareness for charity Crisis, donating 10p for every can placed in designated recycling bins throughout the truck tour. This ties in nicely with another of Coca Cola’s marketing strands- the theme of ‘Kindness’ which has seen the brand refresh its social media strategy with content aimed at being kind and spreading positivity. 


Partnering with Snapchat and Waze

This year, the brand has worked with Snapchat to launch a Coca-Cola Christmas lens, as well as partnering with navigation app Waze for a Christmas-themed takeover which will see cars on the app transformed into sleighs for the Christmas period. You can even choose the voice of Santa to guide you to your destination (as well as giving tips as where you can purchase a bottle of Coke!).


Out Of Home Advertising

The ‘Holidays Are Coming’ ad won’t only be featuring on TV this year, but also in a range of OOH advertising comprising of digital screens and ad spaces around the UK. London buses will also be dressed in festive lights and feature a Coca Cola Santa Claus. 

On top of that, the brand has planned takeovers of Piccadilly Lights to host surprise Christmas karaokes for Christmas shoppers who can enjoy a festive sing-along, accompanied by a choir.


Bringing People Together

Part of Coca Cola’s current brand message is kindness and bringing people together, and in this spirit part of the Christmas campaign is about reuniting unsuspecting family and friends by linking them up with each other via the Christmas Truck. While it’s unclear right now exactly what this will entail, this part of the campaign is backed by famous faces Rochelle and Marvin Humes.

Coca Cola have also revealed that in addition to the Holidays Are Coming ad, they will also be releasing a new TV ad in December aimed at reminding viewers that “there is more that unites us than divides us; after all the festive season is all about coming together and celebrating the holidays” (while sharing a bottle of Coca Cola, obviously).