Here is a K-Mart commercial from 1986.
God, I miss the glory days of K-Mart. You see at the end where it says “America’s Favorite Store”? That’s not just the marketing department talking, that’s legit! Or at least, for that point in time it was. Any K-Mart I’ve seen in the last 1o 0r 15 years seems to have it pretty rough but the ’80s were a great time to be K-Mart and to shop at K-Mart. I loved that place. It’s a part of my childhood.
My town didn’t have Walmart until the early ’90s and didn’t get a Target until after that. We had three “big box” stores: Hills, Roses and K-Mart and you better believe K-Mart was the King Kong in that little group. Going to that K-Mart during the holidays was as wild an experience as it is going to a Target or Walmart today.
I’m not really that big on M&M’s. I never have been. I have kind of a weird relationship with them. It’s love/indifference, really. They certainly wouldn’t be the first candy I reached for at the supermarket but a few times a year I’ll get a craving for them and just go nuts and destroy a whole bag. It’s too easy to scoop up a huge pile of M&M’s in my hands and knock out a bag (and I’m talking about the BIG bags not those ‘tear ‘n’ shares’) in a matter of minutes. That is, if I wanted to do such a thing…
Seen above is one of those typically heart-warming holiday commercials that brands like M&M’s, Oreos, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola excelled at during the 1980s. It was great marketing to make you feel like there could be no joy in Christmas, there could be no Christmas PERIOD, unless you were stuffing your face with their product. It’s as if Christmas was all about sitting around a decorated tree & roaring fire at night with your family slamming M&M’s down your throat by the pound. No wonder in this country we’ll happily eat our weight in McNuggets and Triple Double Oreos before even thinking about touching a salad. Salads just don’t scream “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” like a bucket of original recipe KFC.
Wikipedia my hours of research, the red & green “HOLIDAYS” M&M’s debuted the previous year in 1986. You’d think they’d want to highlight their seasonal candy shell but I see what they did here. The Holidays batch is going to sell no matter what but they’ve gotta keep pushing the regular brown, yellow, green, red, tan and orange M&M’s so they’re using Christmas to get you to associate warm fuzzy feelings with that bland collection (which I always thought was suited best for Autumn and shouldn’t have been used year ’round).
Of course, with the M&M colors these days, it looks like a rabbit came along and pooped in a batch of Skittles.
Much has been said about about the E.T. video game for the Atari 2600. So much in fact I really have had no desire to say anything about it until I came across this:
“Just in time for Christmas” is right! Famously, the game’s designer Howard Scott Warshaw was only given six weeks to hand in a full game in order for it to be on the shelves in time for Christmas of ’82. Even more (in)famous, the game is regarded as one of the worst video games of all time. No one blames Warshaw though. He did the best he could (we hope) given the circumstances. The hate is directed towards the greedy execs at Atari for forcing such poor working conditions upon him and being more interested in making a buck with a poor product than making a buck with a good product.
Problem is — they didn’t make a buck at all! The game was so bad it was returned by many, not bought by even more, relegated to clearance bins for 99 cents and unsold copies were dumped in a landfill! A loss of millions and millions for Atari who came out of this with much egg on their face after fumbling what should’ve been a no-brainer “make easy money” licensing deal based one of the most popular movies of all time. They financially stumbled their way through 1983 and 1984, losing $536 million in 1983 alone. The blow to Atari was not Atari’s alone to absorb though. Being a powerhouse in the industry at the time, when they suffered, EVERYONE suffered and this whole E.T. debacle contributed to The Video Game Crash of 1983.
The face of evil?
In honor of scoring the very LAST box of Christmas Crunch at the grocery store the other night, I figured it would be nice to show off the very first Christmas Crunch commercial back when it debuted in 1988.
As good as it is, Santa Claus ain’t trying to eat no Cinnamon Toast Crunch on Christmas Eve! He wants the good stuff — chunky and/or chewy chocolate chip cookies!
Nice marketing tactic though:
“Mommy! Mommy! We just have to get Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Santa’s going to LOVE it!!”
I see you, General Mills, I see you… And shame on you, Ralston Purina, for not thinking of this marketing angle at all for your own Cookie Crisp cereal.
Rodneymania is runnin’ wild, brother! Here’s two commercials from Burger King. One is from 1986, the other 1987, but they are almost word-for-word and scene-for-scene the same commercial. Even though BK took the cheap way out in 1987 by rehashing the ’86 commercial, at least they had the decency to donate to charity that year… even if they did raise the price of the reindeer by thirty frickin’ cents. SCROOGES!
It’s like I’ve always said… Fast food joints had the coolest toys back in the ’80s.
Wow, I never knew what these fuzzy little bears were called and I actually always thought they were kinda cheap looking. Sylvanian Families, huh? Kind of odd for me to hear because I’ve always associated “Sylvania” with the electronics company. I never knew the word meant “forest land” in Latin. See? Nostalgic Christmas commercials are educational!
I still think “Forest Land Families” would be a better name. Also, this narrating grandmother annoys me. I don’t know why.