There’s not much good on TV this week — ’tis the season after all. Meghan Carlson and I have decided to give you some Christmas cheer every day this week with videos that are fun to watch. Today is Day 3.
Just in case kids getting puppies for Christmas or Christmas Pageant mishaps aren’t your thing, today we’re talking about how “commercial” Christmas has gone! Christmas commercials just aren’t what they used to be, and I think that’s a good thing. (Speaking of holiday commercials, this year Target is nailing it!) Here are some that are just strange:
#1 7-Up Is the Feeling of Christmas. Just another day at the toy mines, gosh these decorative bells are heavy! But nothing shakes the heavy feeling of indentured servitude like 7-Up! Elves know how to partayyyyyy (until Santa sees them and cracks his whip like, “get back to work!” and the elves scatter in fear — that part must have been edited out).
#2 The E.T. Atari Game. There’s good news and bad news with this one. The bad news is that Santa E.T. is breaking into homes again. The good news is that no one seems to mind — they even left presents for him to open at his own leisure! And why wouldn’t he be delighted to play a crappy game based on the life he lives every day?
#3 McDonalds Ice Skating Adventure. Ronald is taking the kids (YOUR kids?) ice skating in what can only be described as a nightmare hellscape. They play “crack the whip,” because safety is none of Ronald’s concern, and a child gets left behind. No one notices but the animated woodland creatures. Seemingly hours later, Ronald leaves the children on top of a frozen pond, then notices the boy the whip forgot. He spins the boy around long enough for him to start thinking about other things (0:52), then Ronald sets him down and is like, “Now watch me do all these cool tricks, suckas!”
#4 “Noel-co” Get It? I don’t know if Santa, infamous for his LONG WHITE BEARD, is the best spokesperson for an electric razor. But I guess the fact that he’s using it as a sled makes it all okay. And what’s up with that terrifying Lady Norelco?
#5 Merry Christmas and Happy Smoking. This lady knows the perfect gift for the smoker on your list (and back then that was pretty much everyone). She suggests that you tell that loved one “Merry Christmas and happy smoking!” 200 TIMES with the Lucky Strikes designer holiday carton. This was back in the good days when you just got an attractive dame, put her in front of a camera, and had her talk about cigarettes in one take. And I’m no smoker, but isn’t that lady force-feeding her husband a cigarette backwards in that last ad (1:25)? Maybe he’s just lighting it with his mouth.
#6 Campbell’s Makes the Outdoors Come To Life. The snowman commercial has always bothered me. Did the snowman turn into a real boy or did some neighborhood bullies build a snowman around him and leave him to die? And the second one just seems like a scene out of Jack Frost. GRAHHHH!!! Why is no one scared that this is happening? Oh, because it ended with “magic.”
#7 The Pepsi Rabbit. OK, this commercial is pretty sweet, but what gets me is the beginning and the end of it. I love how the mom tells her son, “that’s enough Christmas for one day!” Then after the boy chooses the rabbit over other, high-tech toys, Pepsi tells you that you can win a Nintendo Gameboy from Pepsi.
#8 Victoria’s Secret, What’s Your Fantasy? Yeah, what is your fantasy? Is it living in the Lingerie Mansion, where it’s always drafty? Or maybe your fantasy is lying on top of a horse. Make it come true this year with some high-class underpants.
#9 Hardees with Pound Puppies. There’s nothing wrong with taking your family out for a cheap meal after you spent a boatload on Christmas presents. But check out dad’s thinly-veiled Bright Idea at 0:10. Don’t worry, honey, I gots ’em! They’re sticking out of my pocket, clearly at eye level for our children, but I gots ’em! Christmas is saved!
#10 Jolly Holi-dog Christmas. This really rides the line between cute and nightmare-inducing. I’m all for adopting shelter pets, but not for giving them human hands. They all look so aloof, except for the one at 0:30, who is determined to show that cat who can eat that cookie the fastest and with the most vigor.
(Image and videos courtesy of YouTube)