Coke’s next big Aussie move
COCA-COLA'S famous Christmas Truck has toured the UK for the last seven years.
Now the experience is coming to Australia for the first time.
But instead of touring the major cities, the truck is going to three regional communities.
Locally, Coke has partnered with The Salvation Army to bring more than 580 people from Coke and The Salvos, celebrity guests and volunteers to three areas.
The truck, which is being unveiled in Manly today, will first stop in Tamworth in northern NSW, with a celebrity appearance by Australian singer and actress Samantha Jade.
From there, the truck will visit two other surprise locations in far north and far west Queensland.
The tour will support The Salvos through a series of community events. It will help deliver food and community facilities.
Internationally, the Coca-Cola Christmas Truck is a holiday icon. It first launched in the late
90s. The 20-metre long truck is covered in flashing lights, and filled with hampers and other surprises.
Those who see it will also hear Christmas carol favourites playing from it.
Overseas, the truck tour has sparked controversy among health experts who are not in favour of the way free sugary drinks are handed out from the truck.
But the Salvation Army's NSW and Queensland Communcations and Fundraising director, Leigh Cleave, told News Corp Australia that the partnership with Coke was more than just a "fly in, fly out activity" for Coke and The Salvo's.
"Coke came to us. This is not just about them coming in and making a big noise about Coke," she said.
"They [Coke] have been very open from the beginning about things they want out of the partnership.
"They wanted us to make sure we push back to make sure this is real and it leaves a legacy within the communities we're going to."
Ms Cleave said the regional communities that have been carefully chosen for the Coke Christmas Truck tour.
"Having the truck come to them is a way of taking a bit of the sparkle of Christmas to them," she said.
"It will help them know that the big events don't just happen in the main cities.
"There is still a feeling out there that the smaller communities are left out.
"There can be a feeling of isolation at Christmas time, and we hope this can help change that."
Ms Cleave added that she hoped the inaugural tour would lead to a "new tradition of gift giving".
A Coke spokesman also said it could be the start of something big, just like it is in the Northern Hemisphere.
When asked why it took so long for Coke to being the truck tour to Australia, a Coke spokesman said: "We're a very big country with a very different Christmas to the Northern Hemisphere so needed a truck that could go the distance but was also achieving something meaningful for the communities it was travelling through."
Coke said the truck will arrive back in Sydney in time Carols in the Domain on December 17 to deliver surprises to carol-goers.