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Coca Cola respond to complaints over Christmas 2016 advert

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Kayleigh Dray
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year (if you ignore the wrath of Storm Angus, the horror of Donald Trump, and the ongoing drama of Brexit) – and it’s all because the holidays are coming.

Nowadays, advertising has become as big a part of Christmas as the mince pies and tinsel. But, while the likes of John Lewis, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Heathrow Airport, and more are rolling out heart-warming masterpiece after heart-warming masterpiece, Coca-Cola still reign supreme as the most iconic festive advert of all time.



Every year, it’s the same; those bells start twinkling furiously, a child glances into the distance with a hopeful expression in his / her eye, and those famous red trucks start peeling over the hillside.

All the while, an over-excited choir chant  “holidays are coming, holidays are coming…” over and over again, until the words lose all sense of meaning.

Then, finally, they breathe out their important festive message: “Love’s the reason, it’s always the real thing” – and we all start craving a Coca-Cola.

This year’s ad follows the exact same formula – almost.

Watch it for yourself below:

So far, so similar.

However eagle-eyed fans of the Coca-Cola Christmas adverts (who are you people?) are up in arms on social media, because the soft drink company neglected to include a timeless and integral part of the Holidays are Coming story.

Why don’t you take a look back at the 1999 version, to see if you can spot the difference? It’s okay; we have time. We can wait…

Did you spot it?



That’s right; just as John Lewis did before it, Coca Cola has killed off Father Christmas – or, at least, the magic of him. He doesn’t even chug his drink, let alone look back and throw a cheeky conspiring wink at his adoring fans.

Cue the Twitter outrage.

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola Great Britain told Stylist: “We’re delighted to see so many people were watching closely when the Holidays Are Coming ad returned to screens on Saturday night. The ad has been on screens for twenty one years but we have to admit that Santa has actually never winked at the end of the commercial.

“We are pleased to say he does wink in our new ad which is hitting TV screens in early December. However, with or without Santa’s wink, we can confirm that the holidays are indeed coming and the festive season has officially begun.”



Quite honestly, we blame the horrifying nightmare that is 2016 for this new heartbreak.

After all, who could ever expect Father Christmas to be able to muster up a wink in this day and age?

To cheer you up, here’s a little video about pugs… no need to thank us.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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