Holiday Ads: Season Staple or Season Sleeper?

Matthew Wagner, Staff Reporter

The holiday season is one of the best times of year. Seeing friends and family, eating delicious food and, of course, the holiday ads on TV, are all staples of this great season. Even though many holiday advertisements are seen as annoying or repetitive, some are clearly superior to others. 

There are four main ads which I think exemplify the holiday spirit (or lack thereof) uniquely when compared to the others. Their differences come down to the contrasting levels of entertainment involved in each of the ads, how well they encompass the holiday season or if they are even effective. 

Each commercial will be ranked on a scale, 1 through 4. The ranking of the ads corresponds to the amount of points an advertisement receives. If it ranks first place, it receives one point, and if it ranks second place, it will receive two points and so on and so forth. The fewer points an ad receives, the better. 

One advertisement I looked at was the Hershey’s Kisses “Christmas Bells” commercial in which red and green wrapped chocolates are being conducted by a silver one. Each time a Hershey’s Kiss “jumps”, a musical note to “We Wish you a Merry Christmas” sounds. 

The next advertisement I chose was a commercial for Sprite’s holiday drink, in which an animated Lebron James is featured showing up to a holiday party. At this party, he is seen handing out Sprite Cranberrys to the party goers while a catchy song about the beverage plays in the background. 

Another one I chose to look at was the “Catch” commercial for Coca-Cola. In the advertisement, a polar bear requests a soda from his polar bear acquaintance. The acquaintance throws it and the original polar bear is then seen juggling it as they try to fully secure the beverage. In the process of securing it, they end up knocking over all of their other polar bear friends. 

The last and certainly least ad I chose, was the Lexus December to Remember commercial. In the advertisement, a little girl is paid by her aunt to ask Santa Claus for a new Lexus. When Christmas morning arrives, there is a new car in the driveway with a red bow on top. 

Entertainment

  1. Lexus December to Remember

To put it simply, this ad makes me want to rub sandpaper on my eyes. It is so horrendously cheesy and horrifically unrealistic. It makes attempts to be funny, but they all come up short. It is not entertaining at all and has likely taken years off my life. 

  1. Christmas Bells

This advertisement has been running since 1989 and is extremely average. Seeing the chocolates jump is enjoyable, but it is nothing too special. It is a nice ad, but it will not leave you on the edge of your seat or with a jingle stuck in your head all day. 

  1. Catch

An advertisement that does leave you on the edge of your seat is Coca-Cola’s Catch. Seeing the polar bear bobble the beverage and try to reign in the soda is very entertaining. Not to mention, they pummel their friends and cause chaos in the process. The commercial is very entertaining and a top tier holiday ad. 

  1. Sprite Cranberry

The Catch ad and Sprite Cranberry advertisements are both very entertaining. However, Sprite takes first place because of that infectious jingle which can be heard throughout the ad. The holiday party featured in the advertisement is very welcoming and you can feel the warmth through your computer screen. 

Holiday Spirit

  1. Lexus December to Remember

This advertisement exemplifies everything wrong with today’s holiday celebrations. For one, the Aunt bribes her niece to tell Santa Claus about how she, a twelve year old, wants a new car. The holidays are a time for honesty and family bonding. This kid being bribed by her shady Aunt is not only dishonest to Santa and her parents, but also could hugely disrupt this family if the parents were to ever find out. 

  1. Catch

The Catch is third because even though it is a holiday themed ad, it is not as overtly themed as the two others in front of it. It is as themed as possible considering the “actors” are polar bears but even then, there is not much focus on the holiday season other than that it could have taken place at the north pole. 

  1. Christmas Bells

This commercial is ranked second because there is almost nothing more Christmas-y than the song “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”. Not to mention, the kisses are green and red which are classic holiday colors. The message at the end which says Warmest Holidays From Hershey’s Kisses also bring the entire theme together. 

  1. Sprite Cranberry

The Sprite Cranberry advertisement takes the cake for being the most spirited commercial. This is because there is nothing more festive than a holiday party with good food, a warm crackling fire and gifts being given. 

Effectiveness

  1. Lexus December to Remember

The Lexus ad does not only frustrate me, but it also manages to somehow make me avoid the brand all together. The best thing you can say about the commercial is that it is memorable. This is not a good thing when the only memory is anger and irritation. The production is lazy and the acting cringeworthy. This commercial is utterly ineffective. 

  1. Christmas Bells

This commercial is very pleasant but it does not necessarily make me want to go purchase some Hershey’s Kisses. Even though they may be delicious, this ad is not exceedingly motivating.  

  1. Catch

The Catch ad is very clever and cute but even so, many will not go out of my way to buy Coca-Cola because of it. However, in contrast to the previous two commercials, I would consider buying Coke because of those adorable polar bears. Even though it is not the most festive, they portray a positive image which is easy to support by buying product. 

  1. Sprite Cranberry

At the risk of sounding biased, The Sprite Cranberry advertisement is the most effective because of that intensely catchy jingle which echoes around your head for hours after you see the commercial. When I am in the store and I see any of Sprite’s winter beverages, I cannot help but sing the jingle to myself. There is nothing like hearing something so contagious while seeing something as pleasant as a holiday party like the one in the ad. Just thinking about the commercial makes me want to have some Sprite Cranberry. 

After tallying the totals, the results looked like this:

  1. Sprite Cranberry with 3 points
  2. Catch with 7 points
  3. Christmas Bells with 8 points
  4. Lexus December to Remember with 12 points. 

From unbearable car commercials to infectiously catchy soda jingles, themed ads can make or break your television experience during the holiday season. Unfortunately, not every holiday ad can be as entertaining as that clumsy but lovable polar bear. Luckily, not every ad can be as bad as the December to Remember commercial. But, whether you love them or despise them, there is no denying that holiday advertisements are a staple of this great season.