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Hershey's Kisses Christmas Bells Commercial

One of my favorite holiday commercials is the Hershey’s Kisses Christmas Bells which was created and first aired back in the great decade of the 80s.

Hershey’s Kisses Hershey's Kisseswere first introduced in 1907 and have become one of the most popular candies in the United States. As of 1989, the chocolate drops wrapped in foil were the 5th most popular chocolate in the U.S., spawning sales that topped $400 million. Hershey's KissPeople love Kisses not just because of their chocolate taste, but because of positive associations the candy has had in moments in their lives such as getting them as parts of a gift. This is a brand that became an American staple, had been passed down for generations, and that people could remember enjoying as a kid. Some of this positive connection is due to TV commercials.

Since Hershey began marketing its products nationally in 1969, its message has been as consistent as the chocolate recipe that made the Pennsylvania company the largest candy maker in the United States. Hershey's KissesThat’s because by 1969, nearly seven decades after Milton S. Hershey launched his chocolate empire, the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar was one of the most identifiable products in the country and TV ads could simply pitch it as America’s favorite candy bar. The strategy worked, and company executives have rarely dared to deviate from it since. This goes for Hershey’s Kisses as well with TV advertising for Kisses changing remarkably little since the 1960s.

This brings us to one particular Hershey’s Kisses commercial that began airing in the mid-80s (though I have not been able to confirm the exact year) and has stood the test of time since it is still being used even this year. It is simple yet elegant and entertaining all packed into a 15 second spot. It begins with eleven Kisses in the shape of a tree. They become animated when the song “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” begins and are transformed into Christmas bells. At the end, the words “Happy Holidays From Hershey’s Kisses” appear and the intended sentiment is precisely communicated. Again, all this impressively happens in 15 seconds. You can watch the original spot here…


Brilliant and magical! Herhsey's KissesNew York City’s Ogilvy and Mather was the advertising agency handling Hershey’s at this time. The commercial was apparently directed by animation expert Carl Willat (you can find more of Willat’s work at www.carlsfinefilms.com/home.htm). The fact that the commercial is still evoking the same sentimental response over 30 years later is a testament to its greatness. I know I personally appreciate it each year when the holidays come. It might even deserve to be considered one of the most effective 15 second commercial spots ever created.

Hershey’s Kisses have been produced continuously since 1907, except for the period of time between 1942 and 1949 due to rationing of aluminum foil used for the wrappers which was a scarce commodity during World War II. More than 80 million Hershey’s Kisses are produced each day at the company’s two factories. So the candy has been being produced and sold for over 100 years yet, to me, its most endearing commercial is a product of the great decade of the 80s. Wishing a awesomely rad holiday season to you all!


Thanks, as always, for reading! My regular blog site for Kickin’ it Old School has been down for a while now. But you can still please like/follow us on our Facebook page  (http://www.Facebook.com/KickinItOldSchool80s/) and on Twitter @OldSchool80s  (http://www.Twitter.com/OldSchool80s/). We also have begun re-publishing our awesome interviews over at Rediscover the 80s and you can read them here (http://www.rediscoverthe80s.com/search/label/interview/)

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Mr Magic Posted on Dec 20, 2018 at 06:56 PM

@OldSchool:

Maybe I've just been on the wrong channels.

Dalek227 Posted on Dec 20, 2018 at 03:48 AM

A lot of people I know say that for them seeing that commercial for the first go round of the year signals "Ahh, Christmas is coming". I think I saw it the very last few days in November this year.

OldSchool80s Posted on Dec 20, 2018 at 02:24 AM

@Mr Magic - I have seen it many times. In fact, just saw it earlier tonight. Like I said, I always notice it and always makes me feel a little more Christmas-y.

Mr Magic Posted on Dec 19, 2018 at 10:33 PM

How odd. I didn't see this ad on TV at all this year.

Vaporman87 Posted on Dec 19, 2018 at 10:06 PM

Such a great ad. I love seeing on TV every year. Sort of like the Campbell's Soup commercial with the snowman melting into a kid.

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