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Official Article

5 More 80s Christmas Commercials

Let's face it, after the presents are opened on Christmas morning, most of us settle in for some relaxation in front of the tube, hoping to extend the joy of the holiday for a few more hours. Just as I finished my previous article featuring five Christmas commercials from the 1980s, I found another batch from an old VHS tape I've held onto for over 30 years, so I just had to share. So here's a few stocking stuffers from days gone by to make your days merry and bright.

7-UP, The Feeling of Christmas


Talk about production values, this little glimpse of the North Pole is glorious. We've got Santa's Elves taking a break from a hard season of building jack-in-the-box toys to enjoy some liquid refreshment and the mere opening of the can brings a light snowfall to the affair. I especially love Santa coming out in his suspenders kind of like, "Guys, can you keep it down out here? I've got a long night ahead of me." Though certainly still around, I feel like 7-UP has fallen out of favor in the soda world. I grew up with those red dotted cans in regular, diet and cherry varieties being the only carbonated beverage in our family fridge, so a commercial like this brings back lots of memories.

Snuggle Fabric Softener Ornament offer


So the first half of this ad is just your standard Snuggle Bear emerging from a pile of freshly dried towels to suggest you grab a bottle of fabric softener on your next trip to the supermarket, but the tag that follows is a holly jolly miracle. Snuggle Bear popping out of a chimney where "stockings are all hung with care" to tell you about the free Snuggle ornament you could pick up at a store display through the month of December is like a little slice of heaven. Promotional freebies were always a treat and in this case that little furball turned the mundane concept of laundry into a Christmas activity that even the 4 year old me could look forward to.

The Christmas Gift and Barbara Mandrell Christmas Special Promo


When network TV was all we had to amuse ourselves with, promos like these were like a road map to making memories with our families. Nowadays it's the Lifetime or Hallmark cable channels that create the bulk of holiday themed movies, but here we had John Denver saving "the town where Christmas lives" in The Christmas Gift and then Barbara Mandrell getting her family together for a song and dance show. I'll be honest, I have no idea who Barbara Mandrell is aside from a joke reference to a creature called Barbara Manzelle in a skit by sketch group The State that aired as part of their failed pilot for a network series on CBS in the mid-90s.

McDonald's Handwarmin'


There is a classic Christmas commercial from this era where Ronald McDonald ice skates with a bunch of kids on a frozen lake, but lesser known is the burger loving clown's attempt to start a holiday dance craze with this TV spot called Handwarmin'! The idea of turning the classic move of rubbing your hands together for warmth into a choreographed dance was genius and though the accompanying claps in rhythm never caught on with the general public, at least Grimace and The Hamburglar got to enjoy the show for one snowy night.


If I'm being honest, this jumpin' and jivin' routine really reminds me of the spontaneous (yet fully choreographed) dance party that breaks out at a McDonald's in the film Mac and Me, which may be why it fills me with such uncontrollable glee. That, mixed with the sight of the classic 80s packaging for the standard McDonald's french fries and drink cups adorned with rows of orange, brown and yellow golden arches makes this commercial a treasured bit of nostalgia for me.

7-UP, Countdown to Christmas Poster Offer


Yes, we're back with a companion ad to the 7-UP commercial that started us off, but this one deserves to be seen. While the focus of the announcer is on the free Countdown to Christmas poster available when you purchased 7-UP products, featuring the 31 days of December printed onto Santa's iconic beard, there's something else that should grab our attention. Notice how that one Elf simply lifts his eyebrows to open the refrigerator door? That is a major addition to the Santa Claus mythos, wherein St. Nick might actually be running a boarding school for mutants with telekinetic powers. If 7-UP really wants to make a big play for our soda dollars, it's time to partner with Marvel for an X-MAS-Men comic ASAP!

Now do you see why I had to bring you this second batch of Christmas commercials to you before the last snowflake falls on December 25th? You deserve to revisit a little bit of Christmas fantasy before the season melts away for another year. Merry Christmas!
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Vaporman87 Posted on Dec 21, 2018 at 04:16 PM

@Hoju: A Star Trek villain or a type of bird. Either of those.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Dec 21, 2018 at 04:14 PM

@OldSchool80s My pleasure!

@Towtrucktom That is the mission statement of the site, so I'm glad I could be a part of that special moment of nostalgia.

@Vaporman87 Mandrell still sounds like a Star Trek villain to me.

OldSchool80s Posted on Dec 21, 2018 at 01:12 AM

Thanks for taking the time to share these awesome 80s time capsules!

Towtrucktom Posted on Dec 20, 2018 at 09:32 PM

I still vividly remember he MacDonalds add!!!!

That took me straight back to my childhood.

Nice one Hoju.

Regards
towtrucktom
____________


Vaporman87 Posted on Dec 13, 2018 at 09:54 PM

Barbara and the Mandrell sisters were pretty big in the early to mid '80s. They had a variety type show on television that I can recall.

That "Handwarmin'" ad just doesn't capture the spirit of Christmas like the "On The Pond" one. Still, it's a valiant effort.

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