The Best Perennial Christmas Commercials

Posted: December 2, 2015 by rorypatrick in commercials
Tags: , , , , , ,


Although I am not a religious man, I am absolutely enthralled when the holiday season kicks off.  While Christmas seems to take over the last few months of the year (I heard holiday music in a fast food restaurant back in September), it is after Thanksgiving when we get to the “money” part of the holiday season.  Gifts are being bought, party arrangements are being made, and the television airwaves are absolutely inundated with jingle bells and ho-ho-hos.

What makes the season truly special is that it honors the past.  Each year, we hear the same songs, watch the same television specials, and use the same old lights to decorate the house.  These traditions help us remember our past while, simultaneously, shaping our future – remember, there’s always someone out there watching Frosty or Rudolph for the first time.

With that in mind, let’s spotlight something that often gets overlooked: perennial Christmas commercials.  While many commercials are aimed to promote something short-term and are easily forgotten, the following commercials have managed to stave off quick extinction to become miniature holiday “classics.”

5. M&M’s “Faint”

Do you even need to play the video?  You all know this one by heart.  Featuring the voice talents of Billy West and Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons, this commercial has been on since 1996, and shows no signs of being retired.

4. Coca-Cola “Holidays Are Coming”

While this particular commercial didn’t last too many Christmases, you need to give Coca-Cola an honorary lifetime achievement award for their holiday advertising.  From this catchy jingle, to the polar bears, to the iconic Santa on their labels, I consider Coca-Cola as much of a winter-time drink as eggnog and hot cocoa with marshmallows.

3. Campbell’s Soup “Snowman”

This commercial seems to have been retired now, but it had an amazing run in the 1990’s.  Its secular story appeals to everyone: A snowman is sent to a watery grave after it swallowed a little boy.  At least that’s how I interpreted it.

2. Hershey Kisses “Christmas Bells”

Simple, iconic, wordless, and timeless.  If any of the ads in this article would make Don Draper jealous, this would be the one.  Channeling the feeling of a live concert, there’s enough drama conveyed here that the viewer ends up giving a sign of relief as the little Kiss does at the end.  My research tells me that this commercial has been around since December of 1989.  Taylor Swift has also been around since December of 1989.  Coincidence?

1. Fruity Pebbles “Seasons Greetings”

OK, so I got greedy and put my own personal favorite at number one.  Sure, this commercial isn’t around much nowadays, but in the 80’s and 90’s, this commercial was as highly anticipated as the first snowfall of the year.  In just 30 seconds, we run the gamut of emotions: from happiness, to hunger, to cunning, to greed, to rage, and finally, love.  Also, you have the Flinstones celebrating Christmas in the times before Christ, one of the many anachronisms that gives the Flintstones its charm.  There’s no frame of this commercial that I don’t adore.

Was your favorite commercial left out?  Are there any commercials going on now that you’d love to see in future holiday seasons?  Let us know in the comments!

  1. lyn toohey says:

    The Hershey Kisses – timeless- they never melt

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