There’s no other season quite like the holidays for commercials. Pressure to stand out among brands has resulted in some memorable spots over the years. Among those spots, some stand out more than others and truly stand up against the test of time.
Here are our picks for some of the most memorable holiday commercials in history.
M&M’s “Christmas Faint”
This iconic and memorable commercial first aired in 1996 and features two well-known characters – Santa and the sassy, smart-talking M&M’s. The spot works so well because it incorporates two tried-and-true methods of good advertising – humor and nostalgia. It brings viewers back to a more innocent time when we all believed Santa was real – and maybe that M&M’s could talk.
Folgers Coffee “Peter Comes Home For Christmas”
Going with the theme of sentimental commercials, Folgers 1986 “Peter Comes Home For Christmas” is easily relatable. A college student comes home Christmas morning and wakes up the family by brewing Folgers Coffee. Nearly everyone can identify with the excitement of a loved one coming home for the holidays. Folgers taps into that while also keeping in theme with the brand’s “Best Part of Wakin’ Up” campaign.
Hershey’s “Christmas Bells”
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. That happens to be the case with Hershey’s “Christmas Bells” commercial that shows the Kisses candies play the tune of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” as if they were hand bells. The spot originally aired in 1989 and has run every year during the holiday season since – making it the longest running ad ever for the Hershey brand.
Campbell’s Soup “Snowman”
Campbell’s Soup evoked some warm and cuddly feelings with its “Snowman” commercial in the nineties. It’s hard to forget the imagery – or the feelings that came with it – when the Snowman came inside, warmed up, and turned into a boy after eating Campbell’s Soup.
Coca-Cola’s “Polar Bears”
Of all the brands, Coca-Cola could easily rank among the top for developing memorable commercials during for the holidays. The polar bear characters were initially introduced in 1922 for adverts in France and resurrected in 1993 for a series of commercials. The bears – who captured the innocence and fun of the holidays – are near synonymous with the holidays now.
NFL’s “Viking Family”
Of all the memorable commercials this 2014 holiday season, the NFL’s “Viking Family” was the most memorable, according to a survey from Nielsen. Along with some of other spots on the list, Viking Family plays to the theme of family and tradition. It follows one families growth through marriage and movement to encompass multiple NFL teams.