Holiday Commercials In Reruns: Recent Nostalgia, Or Just Old?

by , Nov 20, 2012, 12:31 PM
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An older man in a health club locker room looks at a TV screen and says,"Wow. That's an old commercial."

The holiday marketing rush thus begins with the viewing of a Corona Extra commercial. This 15-second spot, run in recent years, features a shot of a Caribbean or Pacific island night, a small hut by a beach with five or six palm trees, not-so-quiet nightlife animal sounds, and a man whistling "O Tannenbaum." Then Christmas lights on one of the palms come on, offering an alluring contrary take on a holiday season picturesque tableau.  

Familiar commercial scenes are typical manipulation tools to pull our consumer purse strings at this time of year.  Theres nothing wrong with that. But what will become of this type of advertising messaging on future digital platforms?

These are not nostalgic commercials, like "Where's the Beef?" (Wendy's) or "I Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thing" (Alka-Seltzer), but more recent commercials that provoke a lot less sentimentality.  Perhaps watching them in a new and different venue might yield the same engagement factor. This can be good for marketers, who will at least save on creative costs.

Can we expect to see those Budweiser Clydesdales dusting up a snowy, woody trail in their usual holiday reruns?  Sure. But this and the Corona Extra commercial are slight reminders of the past. Marketers may have to be savvy enough to realize even ad messaging from recent years needs a slight update, or consumers will be left to ponder older emotions that marketers would rather not provoke.

The older gentleman in the health club tried to make business sense -- with little sentimentality -- of the older Corona Extra commercial: "Maybe they're just saving money for when they advertise in the Super Bowl."

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