December 19th! He’s GETTING CLOSER! As part of our countdown to Christmas, I thought it’d be fun to post a classic Christmas commercial every day until Christmas Day (and maybe a few days after) to get us all into the holiday spirit.
Today’s classic is the “Noelco” campaign of the late ’60s and ’70s which was revived by Norelco in 2011. This campaign built on the runaway success of the Rankin/Bass production of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, which premiered in 1964 and has essentially defined the look of Christmas for more than half a century, in much the same way that Coca-Cola has defined the look of Santa.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a 1964 Christmas stop-motion animated television special produced by Videocraft International, Ltd. (later known as Rankin/Bass Productions) and currently distributed by Universal Television. It first aired Sunday, December 6, 1964, on the NBC television network in the United States, and was sponsored by General Electric under the umbrella title of The General Electric Fantasy Hour. The special was based on the Johnny Marks song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” which was itself based on the poem of the same name written in 1939 by Marks’ brother-in-law, Robert L. May. Since 1972, the special has aired on CBS, with the network unveiling a high-definition, digitally remastered version of the program in 2005. As with A Charlie Brown Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph no longer airs just once annually, but several times during the Christmas and holiday season on CBS. Unlike other holiday specials that also air on several cable channels, Rudolph only airs on CBS. It has been telecast every year since 1964, making it the longest continuously running Christmas TV special in history. 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the television special, and a series of postage stamps featuring Rudolph was issued by the United States Postal Service on November 6, 2014.
It’s an interesting ad in that it manages to pack 5 product demos and a ton of charm into 30 seconds. I’m not so sure that the snowpeople under the hot lamp and the hair dryer are going to turn out OK … but that’s the beauty of short-form film … you don’t have to hear the screams of melting anguish after the ad ends.
30 seconds which sell with charm (and product demos). Merry Christmas!