Let’s face it, is it really Christmas until we see the Coca-Cola truck on TV? Between that and the John Lewis advert (and the battle of the Christmas Ads’ that follow), it’s like permission to put up the decorations has finally been given when it hits the screens. And since it’s an HGV, we thought it would be fun to dive into some little-known facts about the big red trucks that bring Christmas cheer (and sugary drinks) all across the country.
- The Coca-Cola truck made its first on-screen appearance in 1995 in the ‘Christmas Caravan’. But as you can see in the video (which you can still see online here), most of the shots are actually special effects, and not the truck itself.
- Speaking of special effects, the special effects for Coca-Colas advertising are pretty special in themselves. They’re actually done by industrial Light and Magic. Don’t worry if that name isn’t familiar to you – you’ll probably only know it if you’re a bit of a nerd. But they are the company who also handle the special effects for the Star Wars movies.
- In 1993, the now famous Coca-Cola Christmas advert showcased a fleet of trucks all driving information but actually, only 3 trucks were used, and then digitally replicated by you know who.
- The famous, original Coca-Cola truck has now driven over 737,000 miles, and it’s 8,772 twinkling fairy lights require near constant maintenance.
- Between 2007 and 2007, Coca-Cola made the unpopular decision to stop creating and broadcasting their Christmas adverts. This decision was so unpopular that it caused an uproar, and in 2008 they decided to revive the adverts.
- In 2015 the demand for the Coca-Cola truck tour was so high that they actually decked out a second truck to make sure they could visit all of the cities on the route. One started a tour in the North and the other ran around the South, and they met in the middle to finish.
- In 2013, the newly instated hashtag #HolidaysAreComing was tweeted over 57 million times in just 2 months. In the same year, the Coca-Cola website recorded a record-breaking 2 million visitors to the website, all looking updates for the tour.
- If you do manage to catch up with the Coca-Cola truck, it doesn’t just sit there looking pretty. It gives away free cans of coke in the variety of your choice and offers a free recycling point for cans as well. Every year hundreds of thousands of families queue up to get their free can.
- The TV advert titled ‘journey’ saw the Coca-Cola trucks come to life. While a man and his grandson were reading a Christmas story in their home, the trucks surprise them by coming to life.
- By 1998, millions of people were watching the Coca-Cola adverts over the festive season, across over 100 countries. It was like the John Lewis adverts of the nineties.
- The Coca-Cola truck has been making its rounds at Christmas for a long time now. And it’s so popular that it visits over 40 towns and cities during November and December.
- Matt Smith (AKA The Eleventh Doctor) was the first member of the public allowed to drive the famous Coca-Cola truck. He was trying to raise awareness for cystic fibrosis, and after he posted online and his tweets went viral, Coca-Cola decided to help and invited him to drive the truck.
- The iconic image of Santa Claus that we know and love today was created by Haddon Sundblom for Coca-Cola. Until that point, jolly St Nick was portrayed in green, but Coca-Cola wanted something a bit more aligned with their brand. He is still featured on the big red truck, either drinking Coca-Cola or holding a bottle of it aloft as he tours the country.
So, it doesn’t really matter if you love coke, hate it or are pretty indifferent to it all. The Coca-Cola truck is one of those things that signal Christmas is well and truly on the way, and you should gear up accordingly. And along with the hard working HGV’s that deliver presents across the country, it helps bring the spirit of Christmas to thousands of people.
From me, and the whole team at The LGV Training Centre, we wish you the Merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years. Have a great time everyone!