Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on December 5, 2010
A wild and fun romp down Yuletide Memory Lane just in time for Christmas — here’s a new collection of Christmas TV commercials from the United States spanning four decades. Also included in this nostalgic mix of several dozen videos is an assortment of wonderful international Christmas TV adverts from Britain, Japan, Ireland, Russia, Canada, and Lithuania.
To check out last year’s compilation of classic Yuletide TV commercials, click here.
This first American Christmas ad below from last year may make you tear up a bit. Beautiful… it’s become a new favorite of mine — God bless our troops.
Something for Dad – Walmart Christmas (2009)
Japan’s JR railways aired a series of popular Christmas commercials over many years involving beautiful young women rushing to the train station at Christmas to meet up with their sweethearts… here are five of them. I find these Japanese ads irresistibly nostalgic and haunting — the continuity from one year to the next is remarkable. I have no idea if the “Xmas Xpress” is purely a seasonal marketing term or if there actually were special trains running in Japan on Christmas Eve for separated lovers. The latter appeals to my romantic side. If anyone has any background info on these JR ads, please share them in the comments section.
Tatsuro Yamashita singing “Christmas Eve” is used in each of the ads, and the song became a huge hit in Japan.
JR Central Christmas Express, with Fukatsu Eri – Xmas Xpress 1988
JR Central Christmas Express, with Makise Riho – Xmas Xpress 1989
JR Central Christmas Express – Xmas Xpress 1991
JR Central Christmas Express – Xmas Xpress 1992
JR Central Christmas Express, with Hoshino Mari – Xmas Xpress 2000
Corona Extra • Merry Christmas Feliz Navidad 2000
Betty Crocker Sugar Cookies Christmas Commercial • “Busted… Dad, Those Were for Santa!” (2007)
The immensely talented Camilla Kerslake sings her new single ‘How Can I Keep From Singing? ‘in the following UK Waitrose Christmas commercial.
Waitrose Christmas • UK Advert – 2009
Frank and Gordon Beaver were popular iconic mascots for Bell Canada from 2005 to 2008, but new management canned them a full year before the Vancouver Olympics the beaver pair was purportedly created to help promote.
Bell Canada Christmas Commercial • Revolving Door, with Frank and Gordon Beaver
Jim Henson died far too young.
Vintage, Early Jim Henson Puppets • Wilkins Coffee Christmas Commercial (1950s)
Summary of the next Christmas commercial spot from the ad’s original videographer Eric Jurg:
Here’s a commercial made by Jack Havey at Ad Media (Augusta, Maine) in 1980 that may be one of the longest running TV ads in history. Until just a few years ago, the bank – due to popular demand – would revive this spot every Christmas on the Bangor TV stations. After we shot the commercial (I was the cameraman and editor), Jack kept the kittens at his camp on Maranacook Lake, and some of them ran off into the woods, preferring the feral life. I believe their offspring still roam those woods today.
Bangor Savings Bank • “Christmas Kittens” (1980)
Simply hilarious lyrics…
Garmin Holiday Commercial • Coffee Shop (2008)
This next video is magical… wonderful Guinness Christmas ad with scenes throughout Ireland. The music was produced specially for the commercial by composer Kevin Sargent.
Guinness Christmas Advert (2006)
AVON Christmas • Lithuania, 2008
Jell-O Jigglers for Santa, with Bill Cosby (1992)
One of a series of popular Christmas ads that aired for several years in Canada during the 1980s…
Canadian Tire • Scrooge Christmas, 1984
Kodak – For the Times of Your Life • Christmas 1977
Miller Beer Brewing Christmas Lights Gone Wild • Trans Siberian Orchestra, “Wizards in Winter” (2006)
7-Up Christmas Commercial • Ireland & UK (2001)
John Lewis Christmas Advert • Sweet Child o’ Mine, 2009
Old Navy Christmas Commercial • “Will Hit You Like a Brick” (2004)
Japan KFC for Christmas (2006)
A Spice Girls reunion-of-sorts Christmas advert that aired in the UK in 2007.
Spice Girls • Tesco Christmas Ad, UK 2007
Just one word on this 1977 Burger King Christmas doll ad: creepy.
Burger King • BK Christmas Doll, 1977
Video encore from last year: Another Christmas ad favorite below… this holiday Coca-cola ad campaign was an enormous hit for a number of years and different versions were created and have aired around the world.
Some background info from Wikipedia:
The “Holidays are coming!” advertisement features a train of red delivery trucks, emblazoned with the Coca-Cola name and decorated with electric lights, driving through a snowy landscape and causing everything that they pass to light up and people to watch as they pass through.
The advertisement fell into disuse in 2001, as the Coca-Cola company restructured its advertising campaigns so that advertising around the world was produced locally in each country, rather than centrally in the company’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. However, in 2007, the company brought back the campaign after, according to the company, many consumers telephoned its information center saying that they considered it to mark the beginning of Christmas. The advertisement was created by U.S. advertising agency Doner, and has been part of the company’s global advertising campaign for many years.
Keith Law, a producer and writer of commercials for Belfast CityBeat, was not convinced by Coca-Cola’s reintroduction of the advertisement in 2007, saying that “I don’t think there’s anything Christmassy about HGVs and the commercial is too generic.”
In 2001, singer Melanie Thornton recorded the campaign’s advertising jingle as a single, “Wonderful Dream (Holidays are Coming),” which entered the pop-music charts in Germany at no. 9. In 2005, Coca-Cola expanded the advertising campaign to radio, employing several variations of the jingle.
Coca-Cola: Holidays Are Coming, 2007 (USA, long version)
Here’s the classic “Holidays Are Coming” Coca-Cola advert that aired in Russia.
Coca-Cola: Christmas “Holidays Are Coming,” Russia, 2007
The Northern Ireland version of the “Holidays Are Coming” Christmas ad.
Coca-Cola: Christmas “Holidays Are Coming,” Northern Ireland, 2007
A shorter US version, featuring a grandfather and grandson.
Coca Cola • Christmas “Holidays Are Coming” (2006)
Sega Saturn Christmas Nights Commercial • Japan 2008
K-Mart • Joe Boxer Christmas Commercial, with Vaughn Lowery (2006)
Adorable corn flakes ad… I can’t find a definitive year for this one, but it’s either late 1980s or early 1990s.
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Christmas Ad
Toyota Ipsum • Christmas commercial, Japan, 1998
Argos Advert • Petrol Station, Last Minute Christmas Shopping, UK
Walmart Christmas • Carol of the Bells TV Ad, 2007