“And Now a Word From Our Sponsor” – ’80s Christmas Commercials

This is a repost of an article I posted 2 years ago. Many of you may have missed this the first time around, or it may have been a couple of years since you last saw these classic commercials. I hope you enjoy these:

They could be annoying at times. Some were pretty good. Good or bad, some of them are ingrained in our brains. But in the days before DVR, you used to have to sit through commercials. Whether you liked them or not, it can be fun to look back at some commercials. We may have been in the house more in the winter, so that may have been when we saw the most commercials. Let’s Return to the ’80s, and look back at some Christmas commercials:

Folgers

No matter how dramatic and tear-jerking the television show was that you were watching, you could not help but well up during the Foldgers commercials of the ’80s. Anyway, that’s the affect they wanted to push on you.

Oreos

I know you finally got the jingle out of your head. So, now you can get another listen. Your Welcome!!!!

McDonalds

Oh what a nice guy that Ronald McDonald is! And how the hell can he ice skate with those big ass clown shoes?!? If you can’t skate with the big kids, then stay off the ice! But Ronald McDonald has compassion for him.

Fruity Pebbles

Even Fred Flinstone was generous at this time of year. This may have been the only time Fred shared is Fruity Pebbles with cheapskate Barney. I know cereal can be expensive, but come on, man! Why don’t you ever buy your own!!

Toys R Us

Yeah, I’m sure they had a large collection of Cabbage Patch Kids! There’s no truth to the rumor that immediately after this commercial aired, there was a mob scene at all the Toys R Us stores, and all the stores were picked clean. On second though, maybe there is some truth to it. Why can I picture Geoffrey getting trampled?

Honey Nut Cheerios

Wow, Scrooge’s “Bah, Humbug” is pretty intense for a commercial with a cartoon bee.

Sears

What prices!! Ah, cassette players. Those were the days.

And here’s one for the ladies:

Atari

Atari AND E.T.!! You don’t get more ’80s than that!

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85 thoughts on ““And Now a Word From Our Sponsor” – ’80s Christmas Commercials”

    1. Yeah, it’s funny seeing those old video games. The games that are out now have better graphics than most movies from back then. At the time, it was great though. Compare E.T. to Pong. And there really weren’t too many years separating those games.

  1. Ah, the sappy Folgers commercial…thanks for the reminder (and the tears streaming down my face. Just kidding.)

    And you know, seeing Ronald McDonald again makes me wonder: HOW THE HELL did any marketing genius not see him as scary to children?

    As a child of the 70s/80s, I thank him for the years of therapy…

    1. Oh my God, you guys are too much! I am laughing my ass off! I never even thought of that before! Not that a clown peddling burgers was ever appealing to me. Now I can’t help but see how creepy that is. The only thing that could make it worse was if he was riding in an ice cream truck around the neighborhood.

    1. Yeah, I can’t stand it when those allergies kick in at the most inopportune times! It’s really tough to explain it to people when it’s not allergy season.
      By the way, your blog looks great. I’m sold! I just subscribed.

  2. Great list. The current crop of ads pale in comparison. I bet if their marketing departments would pull the oldies out of the vaults people would be much more responsive. They’d actually watch them. At least I would.

    1. I agree that they don’t make ’em like they used to. Occasionally, there is a funny one. Luckily, there is TiVo now. There aren’t even too many good ones during the Super Bowl anymore.

  3. I have a recorded version of Garfield’s Halloween from the mid 80s, and I love it so much mainly due to the 80s commercials. The McDonald’s commercial still has the Hamburglar, which I think is my favorite character of all time. Hamburglar … a hamburger who is a burglar. Excellent.

  4. I could only watch the Folgers commercial because that alone made me a puddle. The latest Folgers commercial looks like it is trying to be a sequel as the little sister is now 14 or 15 and the brother was volunteering in Africa. Great post.

  5. The Oreos commercial is the only one I remember. “Running away from secret agents” in the Atari E.T. game is an interesting activity to create for children. Even now, I think PG rated films tend to portray authority figures and government officials as dangerous.

    1. You mean they’re not? Just kidding. I could be wrong (and probably am), but the negative view of authorities probably started with the hippie movement of the ’60s, and continues on today.

  6. I freakin’ love these commercials. Thanks for posting them, and giving me a bit of nostalgia today! The jingles used to be great. I wonder what the kids in Berklee’s jingle-writing courses are doing these days. I haven’t heard any good ones lately. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  7. These are so great! I remember all of them. I especially remember the Coke commercial as I watched Little House on the Praire. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  8. Haha ahh the memories. I was pretty serious about my Cabbage Patch doll back in the day! Also, that McDonald’s commercial is seriously the stuff of nightmares. Who thought up a creepy clown selling cheeseburgers to kids?

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
    -Tori @ The Ramblings

    1. Oh my God this is sooo funny! You’re like the 4th or 5th person that mentioned how creepy Ronald McDonald was. I had never realized it before, but now I’ll never look at him the same way again.
      Andi it is funny to see how cheesy Atari was. At the time it was great though!

  9. wow, you brought me back… Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure that’s still the same Folger’s commercial I’ve been seeing lately… I think they find a good thing and stick with it 😉

    1. You’re right. You don’t really see soap commercials anymore. The Irish Spring commercial used to be on all the time with the whistling. And you could also get “Zestfully clean.”

  10. Great memories. But you left out a couple of my favorites. The Country Crock series and the Nescafe Gold Cafe saga! I loved those old commercials. They were like soap operas where you couldn’t wait to see the next episodes! Thanks for reminding me of some great commercials!

    1. Thanks! I only left out those commercials because I was only show Holiday commercials. I couldn’t find any for those. It looks like I will have to do an article on popular commercials of the 80s. I remember that Nescafe saga. The Country Crock was annoying though with everybody yapping and digging into the butter container. Thanks so much for the comment!

    1. I’m surprised by that, too. I really shouldn’t know that Honey Nut Cheerios commercial as well as I do. Was it really that long ago? Yikes… I must be getting old!

  11. My best friend’s dad hand crafted a cradle for my cabbage patch doll. I still have the cradle AND the doll (including her birth certificate!). Someone else made me a christmas outfit for her. Mom got her for me when she worked at Sears – I was so popular. I remembered all but one of those…I have got to pass you along to a die hard 80s fan. She is gonna love this site;) I’m kinda fond of the decade myself.

    1. That is so cool! There is nothing like hand-crafted stuff. And the fact that you still have the cradle, doll and birth certificate really shows that you cared a lot about it. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I’m still blown away by the genius of the “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” song. I’m happy to see that they milked that song for all it was worth – A holiday sequel/Disney cross promotion!

  13. Ahhhhhhhh yes, the festive ongoing of societies COMMERCIALISM, the true memories
    of the real Christmas past are forever Gone!

  14. Thanks for sharing. I recall the Folger’s commercial so vividly… like it was just yesterday. Has it been roughly two decades now? What a time that was when saying Merry Christmas in front of a product line or business was not something to pause about. My, times have changed for sure. If you find a 21st century commercial with Merry Christmas let me know… they are a rare find.

    To all who read this: Merry Christmas!

  15. Wow.. this is too funny. I was wondering about the Norelco commercial where Santa is riding on an electric razor over the snowy hills? Not sure if that was 70s or 80s?? Either way, once I saw Santa was riding on a razor I started to be suspicious of the whole “santa” concept. I was sold on it up until I saw him riding on a razor!

  16. Aw man. You missed a couple of my favorites. The M&M’s “he does exist” commercials were of course classics, but my absolute favorites were the 7-up commercials with the spots. But then, this one may not have aired until 1990. I can’t remember. I know the Santa’s elves drinking 7-up in the snow was the 80’s though and those were OK. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Now to go home and watch Claymation Christmas.

  17. Awesome! I haven’t been able to research specifically which commercials she did, but I know that Sheryl Crow did sing jingles for McDonald’s during roughly this period… so that might have been her in the background (for the ‘it’s a good time, for the great taste…’ bit).

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