“Aw naw! Here comes Jebus complaining about the Holidays again! Seriously, send this kid a hug or something so he can stop bitching about something everyone loves!”
Don't worry, while I'm always angry & depressed around this time of year (Due to the circumstances), I won't subject you to the trite rants of materialism & why Santa Clause is one of the worst lies to tell to your children. Instead, I'm going to chillax & talk about something that only uber-nerds like me & Jesus on that corner over there only talk about. Commercials!
Around this time of year we are inundated with some of the worst, overly saccrine & annoying commercials these fortune 500 corporations have chucked at us with overplayed & overrated Christmas music and depictions of sickeningly squeaky clean family images that make Norman Rockwell puke. Aside from all that, we do get a few diamonds in the trough. So for this installment, I'll be taking a look at the commercials that I remember fondly from my youth or commercials I just caught these past recent years. Yes, we are going to talk about the one we're all thinking about. That's the first one on the list (In no particular rank or order). So wrap a blanket over your head, drink some hot coco, smoke 'em if you got 'em & get ready to go down memory lane.
In terms of things people are into, I will say this.....if consent was agreed upon then I have no right to judge. I also understand that in some cultures that kind of togetherness is common & not that big of a deal. I come from a dysfunctional family, so a commercial like that is jarring to me, but also the way this commercial presents this brotherly sister affection is presented in a way in which nobody can't ignore the implications. Then again are we as a society reading in-between the lines of something that would be considered normal in the 1800's? Have we become so emotionless & self centered (Mainly in America) that an act such as brother sister affection is seen as gross?
Whether you see this as brother sister family love or incest, it got us into discussion & this commercial is remembered for the gross. So I guess the marketing executive did their job, I guess. We all know they smashed....HARD after that.
Oh well, whether you love the classic version or the updated version, it's all the same. It could have been worse, they could of done some rap remix & added in YouTube stars like that one guy who filmed the dead body or Pie Die Pie. I'm not subscribing to that, neither am I subscribing to 'T-Series'. Modern Bollywood sucks, face it! Back to the topic, the commercial still gives me a smile every year & for that I welcome any version they ad-execs throw at me.
First airing in 1990, this commercial has had quite a huge following. It's simple, relatable & it's pretty timeless for something from 28 years ago. For an ad from 1990 it has nothing that dates it, except for the way it looked which has recently been remastered in HD. Thankfully no remake has been done, unlike that Hershey's kisses ad I just mentioned. It's simple, sweet & kinda creepy. All we get is one shot on this home near the Mexican beach with the lights on, everything outside is dim & dark, then out of nowhere we start hearing this ominous whistling. Who is whistling? Then out of nowhere we just see the lights of a decorated palm tree light up. We never see the person & all this makes me think is at any moment a creepy old man will pop up in front of the screen & give all of us a jump scare, except nothing happens. You might think this modern culture of jumpscares have given people like me this idea, but even before the 'boo-scare' trope we still thought this ad was creepy. What can I say other than we are scared of things we can't see, in this case we were scared of this mysterious guy who may or may not be a serial killer.
Okay, this is a answer I want to know. How many of you were turned on by the whistling man? I'm sure there are a few of you out there. Be honest.
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Also check out this mini-doc on the ad. It might be three years old, but it was an interesting watch
-Sprite Cranberry Advert
It's wholesome, you got a very positive (and creative) look at family around the holidays & there's nothing negative about it.
It's fun, visually pleasing & the rap cover of 'The Most Wonderful Time of the Year' isn't ear rape. For that, I love it & welcome it!
This is one ad where the longer you think about it, the more disturbing the context gets. Still, I welcome it because it perfectly captures the warm cozy feeling of stepping inside your home during the cool blue freezing weather.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it go!!!!
Behold, one of the best commercials that would remind people that Atari is (To use a modern phrase here) going to give 1982 kids the L!!! E.T for the Atari 2600 was a trainwreck critically & financially, which led to consumers asking for refunds. Steven Spielberg was on board to help with the development of the game, programmers had such ambition to make the best E.T video game ever, but at this point Atari was bought out by Warner Bros. This was when most of the old hippie founders were gone, strict company policy took place & that was when the game had to be rushed to make the Christmas deadline. What ensued was a not as well made game, but a game very few people enjoyed. As proven by the Angry Video Game Nerd, a lot of the extra copies were dumped in New Mexico. This, along with the Pac Man port, were what caused the video game crash....until being rejuvenated by Nintendo.
On with the commercial this is a very well made commercial that perfectly captures the whimsical magic of Spielberg's E.T. I can only imagine being a kid in 1982, being whisked away into the beautiful & magical world of the E.T film, then finding out on December you might get a video game based off the movie. They hype was real & this commercial built up that hype. Then there's the ending where the narrator says “Merry Christmas, from Atari”. Do corporations even say thank you anymore?
I don't think anybody knew how to market this film, let alone market the tie in merch. At that point they should of just left well enough alone. This was a weird film with weird tie-ins. Illumination's remake is guilty of doing the same thing, but because Toys 'R' Us went under, we aren't getting Toys 'R' Us commercials with that CG animated Grinch stealing kids toys so that was either a boon within the bane or marketing in 2018 has gotten more smarter about that stuff.
Either way, these commercials are a bit of nostalgia because that live-action film was everywhere. One advert I couldn't find was the Radio-shack commercial where they were promoting the film with a remote control car with The Grinch on that tiny dinky car. Yes, that was a thing.
Now these next set of commercials aren't Christmas comemrcials, but every year they always air around the same time, so I'm lumping these four on the same category.
It's a bland commercial & I don't get why this has become a holiday staple.
This is your atypical infomercial advert with a bunch of people doing stupid shit so they can prove to you that you need the Ove-Glove. What kinda idiot pulls down on a tray of spaghetti? This commercial just shows you the use of the ove-glove with no jingle. At least give me a funny sound or something! This commercial sucks, next one.
“Clap on, Clap on!!! (Clap clap!) THE CLAPPER!”
What happens when someone cuts my hands off, could I just shout “TURN THE FUCKING LIGHTS OFF!”?
How about if someone is having sex & making the ass clap? Imagine that shit, clap clap clap. Well, at least they don't have to spend $50 on a strobe light.
There's nothing that strikes people with that commercial, just the jingle.
So from 1991 all the way till 1994 (Or 1995 if you're in Canadia) Mc.Donalds sold:
-Field of Dreams
-The Land Before Time
-An American Tail: Fievel Goes West
-Back To The Future
-Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
-Dances With Wolves
-The Addams Family
-Wayne's World 2
and finally, the film Keanu Reeves would love to forget...
-Babes in Toyland. The worst flick in the bunch. I'll sit through all the ones I just mentioned. Babes in Toyland is a flick I watched for a few minutes & gave up. Mind you, I was at that age where I didn't think bad movies existed. At that age nobody was critical, but this flick was so bad that it even made me say “Yeah, I don't want to continue seeing this.”
These commercials remind me fast food restaurants used to be cool. They commercially sold VHS tapes, which is more than I can say about today's restaurants. Really, no free movies, not even a code card for one free movie rental from I-Tunes or Google Play? What a bunch of greedy fucks. These commercials remind me of that time (Which I experienced in its later stages) when restaurants either sold or gave away free physical media. Remember when Burger King sold 'Backstreet Boys' CD's? Or to promote 'X-Men Evolution' (Or maybe it was the film back in 2000) Burger King gave away free mini-discs with a X-men fighting game? Sure, for kids you guys get the Mc.Donalds App & stuff like that, but there was something about getting something physical like a disc or VHS tape. Good times.
Moving on until I get into a deviation talking about physical media in boxes of cereal.
…..Chex Quest....That is all.
I don't know what to say, other than giving someone lotto scratchers is just asking for a fight. You know what you can get for $5 instead of lotto scratchers? FIVE THINGS FROM THE 99cent store!!! Or if you're Bitish, PoundLand.
Aside from the gimmick of making Lotto Scratchers a legitimate present to give to someone, I love this commercial. Weird as it may sound, I just love how the music complements the visuals of this sad man living his dull, depressing & thankless holiday season. Then when he receives the envelope & smiles for the first time in a long while. It really hits me in the soft spot. It perfectly captures the sadness many of us feel during the holidays when everyone is happy & hyped, yet here we are stuck in this rut that can be fixed. Then a person's simple act of kindness can change the mood almost completely. It's a shame this advert had to be for something like Lotto Scratchers, it could have been for something much more better, like Greeting cards. You know what? I have a nagging feeling that this is a case of plagiarism. Some writer sent in his script for a greeting card commercial, the executive at an Ad-Agency told this poor guy “It's not what we're looking for.” then behind this poor guy's back decided to change this script, replace the name, replace the word 'Greeting Card' with 'Lotto Scratcher' and that's how this fucking commercial came to existence.
And now the final advert on the list near & dear to not just my heart, but many people's hearts.....
The jingle is forgettable, but if you had to hear that every commercial break, then you would go brain scanners. What I love about this ad is the way it looks, I'm easily entertained by Christmas lights. Nothing offensive about the visuals of this ad, it's a caravan of Coca Cola trucks passing though your typical Hallmark small town. It's like watching a local parade, you can't hate on it because they are trying their best & you're just glad you're out of the house. Also the trucks are tricked out in tons of Christmas lighting. This ad gives me a very warm feeling inside of a 90's christmas & I believe it's the setting. It's this Midwestern American town where it snows every winter. California has its own way of having winter (Sometimes its freezing cold with clear skies or your typical 72 degree LA weather), so all my life I've craved that snowy Christmas.
But this is a very obscure set of commercials. For some reason I didn't know about these adverts until I got internet. I never saw them on TV, but its said (according to the internets) that these commercials began in 1995, a new version was made in 1997, the third version was made in 2001, then those commercials continued re-airing until a resurgence of the original in 2009 brought those ads back & Coca Cola made a new ad in that same year but only aired in the UK. Then most of this history I'm seeing is from British websites so I must wonder, did we even get those commercials in the US? Part of me wants to believe we did, I just vaguely remember it or they never did air here.
They're just commercials! How in fuck is there such a convoluted history about a set of commercials?
But one set of commercials I can attest to saying everyone saw.
What's there to say, the polar bear commercials are adverts me & my family welcome every year, despite the fact that the holidays aren't as awesome as they used to be. They're funny, adorable, well made & universal. You can air this commercial from LA all the way to 'Tel Aviv' and would give everyone a big ol' smile. My favorite of the bunch has to be the one where two cubs are trying to push a Christmas tree up a hill, but are much too weak. Then here comes the poppa bear to help them & afterwards the two have a coke. IT'S WHOLESOME!
I don't think anybody hates them, even if you're a health nut you can't deny the wholesome nature of these commercials. Luckily The Coca Cola Company is still making new polar bear adverts with new animation & they aren't moving away from the original template. They are still dialogue-less adverts with the polar bears, but they are also introducing new characters like the Puffin, a bird?...Cuckatoo? Some bird thing trying to open his coke bottle until getting some help from the polar bears. They are great commercials & I hope those ads continue till the world ends. If budget is an issue, re-air those old commercials in a rerun, they still hold up visually & humor wise.
Before I go, there are two honorable mentions I'd like to...well...mention.
-There was that M&M advert where both the red M&M and the Yellow M&M scare Santa. That commercial is older than I thought. It began airing in 1996. I could of sworn this was early 2000's. Either way, it's a funny commercial which then got a very well done & wholesome sequel.
So I guess it was sooo 'distasteful' K-Mart decided to replace keep the template of that commercial & instead replace it with.......this.
Look, I don't have hate on pregnant women. All of you expecting or have experienced preganancy, all of you are the real MVP's in my book because you spent nine months carrying a living being inside you. So don't take this the wrong way, but this advert made my erection cringe. I had to rewatch that first ad to get that erection back. For starters, a remixed version of 'Santa Baby'? That was some cringey shit! Second, I'm pretty sure most of those ladies aren't pregnant. I've seen friends shove a soccer ball under their shirt & say “Hey look, I'm pregnant!” that were more convincing than these posers! Third, they all looked too basic to be real pregnant women. Where's the glow, where's that angelic motherly body shape? These bitches were too skinny to be pregnant!
So to end this. Commercials around the holidays bring all of us back to simpler times & remind us that despite the fact that commercials are paid schills, the best ones tend to resonate & live on in memories. Now with the Internet we can see these year round or binge on them when December arrives. Whether you leave them on the background of a christmas party or binge on the terrible ones like a masochist, Christmas advertising is something we can't ignore.
Next installment of Blogbabble. It's going to be the beginning of the year, so prepare yourself for my annual bitching, ranting & praising the new movie releases of 2019!
We're in Blade Runner times now!!
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