Thursday, December 3, 2015

Immortal Christmas Commercials

Title photo credit: Piotrus

I guess I still have commercials on my mind, since I’m about to talk about them some more:

Most commercials have a limited shelf life.  Some (often ones I don’t like) might run for several months, maybe even a year if they’re exceptionally lucky.  Others (seemingly always ones I do like) are around for like a week, if that.  This makes sense; products get discontinued, new products come out, trends change, and so on. 

However, there is one type of commercial that can live forever.  Like classical Western vampires, they sleep in their coffins for 11 months before emerging every December to feed on the ad space of the living.  They’re Christmas commercials.  They’ve watched presidents die.  Here are some examples:

Hershey’s Kisses Orchestra

Ever seen this one?  It’s a pretty straightforward commercial; the Kisses play “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” presumably Hershey’s way to wish their customers such (and get them to buy chocolate).  Perhaps this commercial has been quite effective, since I’ve found no shortage of red- or green-wrapped Hershey’s Kisses during the holidays.  At least there’s nothing obviously dating this commercial.  If I’d spent my whole life avoiding TV and was just seeing this for the first time, I’d have been able to believe that it was made recently.  All the same, I’ve been hearing that one Kiss go, “Phew!” since early elementary school.

PA Lottery Tickets As Gifts

I’ve got readers from all over the world, so I’ll have to assume that many of you haven’t seen this one, as it’s for the Pennsylvania Lottery.  I’m sorry it’s not something more recognizable, but I’ve got to mention this one.  I’ve also been seeing this one on TV every December since the early 1990s.  The specific Lottery games that get plugged change with the years, but it’s always the same idyllic Christmas scene, complete with carolers.  At least the snow covering everything helps to hide how dated the cars on the street probably look. 

As a kid, I never paid this commercial any mind.  As I got older, however, I couldn’t help but notice the one guy’s reaction to the first guy giving lottery tickets as a gift.  He’s so impressed that not only does he have to practically screech, “What a great gift!” but he also feels the need to shake the dude’s hand.  That’s just ridiculous.  I can’t imagine that scenario playing out in real life, in Pennsylvania or anywhere else.

Folgers Christmas Commercial

And here were are – the Dracula of Christmas commercials.  This commercial’s been on TV for as long as I can remember.  That little girl is probably older than me.  (The commercial itself might be, too.)  Peter’s probably old enough to complain about younger generations.  His parents might be dead by now. 

The commercial’s setup, namely Peter coming home for Christmas and waking his family with Folgers, would have fit perfectly with other Folgers commercials in the past.  I remember plenty of them following that formula during my childhood.  They’d have a lot of similar shots, even, such as the scoop going into the coffee and someone waking up from an apparently deep sleep.  Nowadays, however, I can’t recall having seen any Folgers commercials like that, but this one lives on.

If Folgers is so good at waking people up, why didn’t they ever make a Folgers commercial for Halloween where the coffee wakes the dead?  That would have been awesome.

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