In the most recent Friday Find I shared one of my favorite holiday treats. (The non-edible kind. For the edible kind I might need to start a whole new year-round blog. Have you heard of these things called pigs-in-a-blanket?) (Pigs-in-blankets?) Today I'm talking about another favorite holiday treat that also happens to be a marketing spot. And it's food!
Surely most of us are familiar with it: The simplicity that is the genius of turning a classic thing into something it's not, and setting it to music.
I remember when this ad first came out in 1989, and how fun and different I thought it was, even as a kid. I was captivated. I've enjoyed seeing it every year since, but I otherwise knew nothing about it until I stumbled across this case study that gives a bit of the background and nails what the ad means for me:
"With each passing year, the ad triggers feelings of nostalgia—you can remember when you first saw it, and associate memories of holidays past, making it a tradition in itself.
What may be most impressive, though, is how in just 16 seconds' time, Hershey's somehow gets you into the holiday spirit—and makes you think about grabbing a bag of chocolate Kisses—without saying a single word out loud."
I'm clearly not alone in my nostalgia:
the Hershey's kiss bell ad just played good to know I can always count on something in this life— astralis ⛄️ (@hokumoros) November 27, 2016
As long as the Hershey Kiss "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" ad is still on tv unaltered from 30 years ago, everything will be okay— Justin Strong (@justinpstrong) December 6, 2016
First viewing of the Hershey’s Kiss holiday bells ad is always the best day of the year, among many best days this time of year.— Tim Albrecht (@TimAlbrechtIA) November 17, 2016
That's some truly timeless marketing. What's more impressive, possibly, is that the ad only came to be because a marketing exec took a risk and did something he wasn't supposed to do. Check out the Hershey's Archives' story on how the ad came to be. That gamble paid off, and it's now Hershey's longest running commercial to date. It's even inspired tributes (some might say knock-offs).
Bonus #1: It also led me down a rabbit hole of 80s TV commercial nostalgia. Do you remember any of these? I do!
Bonus #2: It also reminded me of these 'give a kiss' ornaments that were all the rage in the 80s. Squeeze their cheeks and Hershey's kiss was waiting for you inside. We had one on our tree growing up, and I want to say it was green. Maybe it was a frog? I don't remember. But man, nostalgia sure will do it every time.