V2 Marketing Communications Blog

Our 10 Favorite Holiday Commercials Past and Present

Written by Chris Kelley on Fri, Dec 13, 2013

holiday tv commercialsOh, the weather outside is frightful. Inside it’s so delightful, snuggled up in front of the tube, watching the season's crop of new holiday ads.

While it may not appear so, television ad volume dropped in 2013 compared to the year before, according to AceMetrics. Their unique metric, The Ace Score, measures ad creative effectiveness based on viewer reaction to national TV ads.

"2012 was the Christmas of home improvement; 2011 was the Christmas of tech; and by this early touch-point, 2013 looks to focus on emotion and simplicity," said Peter Daboll, Ace Metrix CEO. "We've seen a decline in new creative units to debut prior to Thanksgiving – particularly in the Retail and Automotive industries."

In the spirit of the holidays, we'd like to share with you ten of our favorite seasonal spots from this year as well as Christmases past.

Kmart "Free Layaway"

The top ads this year are appealing to the themes of the season – family, giving and lack of time. So it comes as no surprise that one of the top scoring ads aired this year nearly a month before last year’s season opener did. Kmart’s creepy gingerbread man stalker was an early reminder to shoppers of the retailer’s "Free Layaway."

Hallmark "Just Tell Me"

Hallmark cards has a long tradition of producing television commercials that tug at the heart srings of its viewers. Their "Just Tell Me" spot has people young and old sharing their inner most wishes.

Walmart "Christmas Magic"

Walmart's "Christmas Magic" TV spot scores well with AceMetrics by appealing to a child-like holiday wonder combined with a charitable Christmas cheerfulness.

Greenpeace UK "An Urgent Message from Santa"

Jim Carter, the actor who plays Downton Abbey’s uptight butler Carson, channels the same gravity as he portrays a desperate Santa. This ad about global warming takes advantage of the holidays to convey its message in a way that's both funny and unsettling.

Target Black Friday 2-Day Sale

Because who doesn't like a little crazy for Christmas. It has the e's and c's of Christmas. Exercising, because we all know we need to do it this time of year, especially when we break into the christmas cookies early. And, Crazy, because you know we all will get to that point sometime this holiday season.

Staples "It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"

Although technically not a "Christmas" ad, this back to school ad from Staples in 1996 makes us laugh! We love the juxtaposition of holiday music and the joy of the dad with the sour pusses of the kids. Ahhh…summer, school and the most wonderful time of the year!

Coca Cola Polar Bears

The Coca Cola polar bears were really striking in the '90s. It was one of the first computer graphic commercials, so the look of the commercial was very different from anything else on the air at the time.  Couple that with the warm-and-fuzzy messages of the polar bear family, and we have the beginning of a seasonal tradition.

Kmart Joe Boxer

Playing on the success of their "Ship My Pants," and "Big Gas Savings" ads, the Kmart Joe Boxer commercial stirred up some controversy this season. While all the online buzz took the spot viral quickly, some thought it was racy and inappropriate. We think it's just some cheeky holiday fun.

US Postal Service "Whatever It Takes"

While the holiday season brings with it an increase in mail delivery due in part to all the letters to Santa, of course, the dedicated employees of the USPS get it done. This clever spot shows all that our delivery people encounter through rain, sleet and snow.

Coca Cola "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing - Holiday"

Now a visit from the ghost of Christmas past. The classic Coca Cola spot debuted in 1971 and was adapted for the holidays.

Here’s wishing you a happy holiday season.

V2 Holiday Mad Libs

Topics: Advertising, TV Commercials

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