It Wouldn’t Be the Holidays Without the Best Christmas Commercials

You can tell yourself that Christmas is all about family and love, but we all know the yule log is really a capitalistic bonfire. Need proof? These Christmas commercials are so beloved, they’re practically on par with actual works of art like A Christmas Carol or “Good King Wenceslas.” Lean into the consumerist spirit by watching the best food-centric Christmas commercials—some of which are such classics, they continue to air to this day (confusing the heck out of our HD TVs).

Hershey’s Kisses Christmas Commercial

How can you improve upon such a clear, iconic commercial? You can’t, apparently. Hershey’s still sends the hand bell choir-inspired advertisement out over the airwaves to this day. It’s remarkably effective. Just try to hear “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” without craving a red- or green-foiled Kiss. The ad has undergone some updates since first airing in 1989. In 2016, it was updated to CGI animation from the original stop animation. And in 2020, Hershey released a version that ended with a little girl taking one of the Kisses and using it to make a cookie. This was, unsurprisingly, not appreciated by fans.

M&M’s Christmas Commercial (aka “They Do Exist!” or “Christmas Feint”)

Try as they might, M&M’s can’t top their 1996 commercial, which still pops up on screens to this day. People can’t get enough of Santa and the M&M mascots discovering that they both, in fact, “do exist.” In 2017, the M&M Christmas commercial got a sequel in which Yellow leaves the passed- out Red and Santa to “save Christmas.”

Corona Christmas Commercial (aka “O Tannenpalm”)

I never knew this 1990 commercial was called “O Tannenpalm” before but now that I do I like it even more. Personally, I find this Christmas commercial to be extremely calming. The simplicity of cricket chirps, then a whistled tune and a flick of a switch to reveal a lit up palm tree offers a stillness that you don’t often get from an advertisement. But, according to advertising exec Mike Rogers, the shooting was less than meditative. “There were alligators swimming right where we wanted to put the camera,” he said in a 2015 video about the making of the commercial. They had to employ an alligator wrangler to “scoop” the gators away from the terrified cameraman. Now, that guy needed a Corona.

Campbell’s Soup Snowman Commercial

I never wanted soup more than after watching a stop animation snow boy melt into a real boy while eating a bowl of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. The 1993 commercial continues to have staying power, thanks to its cozy qualities. The ad was so successful that Campbell’s now sells cans of chicken noodle soup wrapped in snowman packaging.

Coca-Cola Polar Bear Commercial (aka “Northern Lights”)

Over the years, there have been many holiday Coke commercials featuring polar bears, but we’re talking about the 1993 original, complete with its Ally McBeal dancing baby-level of graphics. The first Coca-Cola polar bear actually appeared in a French print ad in 1922, but it wasn’t until the ‘93 commercial that they became so iconic to the brand. The animated bear was designed by then Senior Vice President, Creative and Advertising, at Columbia Pictures, Ken Stewart, who modeled it after his Labrador Retriever puppy.

What’s your favorite Christmas commercial that puts you in the spirit? Tell us in the comments.

About the Author

Justine Sterling

Justine Sterling is the editor-in-chief of Sporked. She has been writing about food and beverages for well over a decade and is an avid at-home cook and snacker. Don’t worry, she’s not a food snob. Sure, she loves a fresh-shucked oyster. But she also will leap at whatever new product Reese’s releases and loves a Tostitos Hint of Lime, even if there is no actual lime in the ingredients.

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