5 Holiday Ads to Brighten Your Spirit


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The holidays are in full swing and we’ve rounded up some popular, festive ads for this week’s Ad Corner. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll see some great examples of nostalgia in action. Here are 5 Holiday Ads to brighten your spirit:

1. Hershey Kisses — “Christmas Bells”

In this simple yet charming ad, we see a group of Hershey kisses arranged in the shape of a tree. They move similarly to hand bells and play “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” The ad first aired in 1989 and it met so much success that it’s been airing ever since. The original version was done in stop motion, and it was later redone with CGI. In 2020, Hershey tried to release an updated version with an extra scene added on, but fans of the original commercial were not happy. They ended up reverting back to the original, simpler version.

This ad shows us that simple can still be successful. You don’t need complicated plots or loads of dialogue to send warm, holiday wishes to your customers. It creates in viewers an emotional bond with the brand. By sending a cheery, sweet message, Hershey Kisses has positioned itself as a nice holiday treat. And even though the ad has aired for over 3 decades, it continues to remain popular with many viewers. Comments on the YouTube video say things like “It’s not Christmas unless I watch this commercial at least once,” and “This commercial never gets old or loses its magic.” Hershey Kisses really landed a home-run with this one.

2. M&Ms — “They DO Exist”

Here’s another long-running seasonal ad. This ad is comprised of a brief scene between the red and yellow M&Ms. They walk through a decorated living room and talk with each other about Santa Claus. Both M&Ms freeze when they see the big man himself. Red and Santa each give each other a shock and faint at the realization that they each exist. It’s short, memorable and lots of fun. M&Ms even put out a sequel showing what happens after the famous faint.

This is another good example of keeping things simple. By using two of their mascots and the ever-popular character of Santa Claus, M&Ms set up a joke that people of all ages can understand and appreciate. Humor is always a favorite when it comes to advertising, and it can make for a memorable commercial.

3. Apple iPhone — 2013 Christmas Commercial

This is one of the newer commercials on our list. In it, we see a teenage boy spending lots of time on his phone while his family enjoys holiday traditions around him. At the end of the commercial, he surprises his family by showing them he’d been recording their get together the entire time. Instead of tuning everyone out, he was actually making a lovely family video they could all enjoy.

This commercial uses a longer format than some of our other examples, but it’s still successful in its execution. We all know someone stuck on their phone, so the boy is a relatable character. The surprise family video adds a wholesome, sentimental touch and tugs at viewers’ heartstrings as they remember fun times with their own families. Apple created a warm, relatable story and showed off what its iPhone can do without relying on boring facts or cold data.

4. Folgers — “Peter Comes Home”

Folgers takes us back to 1985 with this advertising classic. It opens with a young man returning from college and quietly entering his family’s house. He is greeted by his little sister and, together, they brew some coffee to wake up the rest of the family. The family is delighted to see that Peter has come home for the holidays. This ad was well received and continued to run through 2005. In 2009, Folgers attempted to remake this commercial, but it was not well received and only ran for one holiday season.

This ad is wholesome and family-oriented. Folgers position their product as a nice, gentle way of waking up. Who wouldn’t want to rouse from slumber by simply smelling a hot beverage? They also tell a touching, relatable story, similar to Apple’s iPhone commercial. The warm emotions associated with family holidays can create a strong connection between viewers and a product, and this ad is a good example of how to do that.

5. Campbell’s Soup — “Snowman”

Last but not least we have this 1993 Campbell’s Soup ad. In it, we see a snowman making his way through a blustery winter storm. He comes inside, is given a warm bowl of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup and eats it. The snow melts away to reveal a little boy smiling over the bowl of soup, and showing viewers that “nothing melts away the cold” like Campbell’s Soup.

This is another ad that ran for multiple holiday seasons. It tells a simple story and gives viewers a little surprise when they learn the snowman is actually a child. It uses a good metaphor that both children and adults can understand. It’s also memorable—how often do we see snowpeople melting into children? Campbell’s made this a winter ad rather then tying it to a specific holiday. This gave them a little more flexibility for when and how long they could run the ad.

In Conclusion

These ads are lots of heartwarming, wholesome fun. If you’d like to market your small business with heartwarming, holiday-themed advertisements, give Bold River Marketing a call. We can help you write, film, and edit advertisements that touch and inspire your customers. Call us today for more information!