X-Entertainment's 2004 Christmas season is here! LOTS more to come...soon!
 
   

Welcome to the first annual X-Entertainment Advert Calendar -- an endorsalicious spin on our classic Advent Calendar, we're counting down the days till Christmas with a new holiday themed ad from the past reviewed each and every day -- and yes, you can download every commercial featured! See what was hot in the years you've forgotten, covering everything from toys to food to giant novelty batteries. Nostalgia through advertising? Enjoy, and happy holidays! If you'd like to donate a Christmas commercial you've found -- either on VHS or in file format, just e-mail me!
   
   

12.1 - The Hess Truck's Back!
At some forgotten point in the past, I fell in love with the Hess Truck. Annually, since the beginning of time, Hess released a new toy truck during the holidays. They're always different, sometimes including weird add-ons like motorcycles, boats and mythical dragons. The one featured here, from 1987, fits more of a classic mold. Of the many dozens Hess Truck ads, I dare say this one's the most Christmassy, featuring Muppet-like elves who sell their wheels harder than Joe Isuzu himself.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.2 - I Like The Sprite In You!
"I like the way you make me laugh. I like the funny things you dooo. You got a style that's all your own! I like the Sprite in you." Only a soft drink with a half-lemon, half-lime mutant fruit from Hell could get away with such twisted lyrics. Many of you have read of my incredible affections for lymon, a fruit that only exists in Dreamland and Sprite commercials from the 1980s. It made Sprite ads something more. Add a catchy tune and a dozen fake Santas, you've got good reason to associate Sprite with everything jolly.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.3 - Jacko's Jolly Energizer!
The Energizer Bunny wasn't the company's first battery-shilling pet. I don't know too much about him, but Jacko was well known, and quoted by the public at such an alarming, annoying rate that many folks pitched genocide within groups of confidants. Jacko ended off every commercial with his trademark "OY," a sound capable of shattering small planets. This ad combines Jacko's love for Christmas with his love for comically oversized Energizer batteries.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.4 - A Kentucky Fried Christmas!
Nothing screams "Christmas" quite like a giant bucket of fried chicken. Barring our desires to choke down sloppy junk dinners in tribute to the fa-ra-ra climax of A Christmas Story, I've yet to encounter a family or couple who actually do it. Admirable as preparing the traditional feasts may be, there's something to be said for cutting out eight hours of prep time by serving the Colonel's special instead. This ad, promoting KFC's "Holiday Meal Deal," provides the world's 7,000th interpretation of Ebenezer Scrooge, this time looking decidedly Ben Franklinish. Scrooge, ever pinching those pennies, is just absolutely in awe of the hot deal KFC's providing. The chicken is "finger licking good," and only as I type that do I realize what a disgusting campaign slogan it is.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.5 - A Hickory Farms Christmas!
Ah, Hickory Farms. What would the holidays be without cheap baskets full of ten-year-old sausage logs and cheeses of indiscriminate flavor? We looked at the baskets and another Hickory Farms commercial last year, but this ad has a more subtle approach at associating Christmas with room temperature perishables. Succeeding in making us believe that the innards of a Hickory Farms basket aren't plopped out of various metal squirters on an assembly line, we're blessed with the knowledge that the cheeses, meats and other goodies are actually collected from different locations. I still don't buy it, but I sure could go for a slice of oily ham topped with pimento cheddar right about now. Because I'm stoned.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.6 - Dearfoams Christmas Slipper Things!
There probably aren't many devout Dearfoams fans gurgling their drool over the inclusion of this commercial, but it's here for a reason. The slippers, promoted as "sweaters for your feet," remind me so much of the crappy, inexpensive gifts I'd give to my many siblings when I was small. I didn't have any income, of course (we were a more "grab a ten when needed" kind of family than one who worked out a regular allowance system), so whatever cash I had was mostly collected from underneath couch cushions. I'd always get the males in my family some kind of hideous Old Spice gift set that they probably used as a makeshift poison to kill an indoor spider two years later, while the females got junk like Dearfoams. Not that they're not great slippers (they're sweaters for your feet), but slippers in general are the fruitcakes of the fashion world.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.7 - Nintendo: Super Mario Bros. 2!
No, this commercial isn't Christmassy, not one bit. It's here because, number one, y'all want to see it and you know it, and number two, "Super Mario Bros. 2" was absolutely on the top top TOP of my Christmas wish list the year it came out. I can't remember much else being notable from that year's gift haul, but when I came upon the small wrapped box and unleashed the fury of a turnip chucking Toad, that nearly forgettable Christmas became one for the books. If I recall correctly, I was wearing a yellow sweatshirt with spaghetti stains all over it throughout the course of this tale. Kinda takes the magic out of the memory. The ad is a terrific teaser, but what really got me into the game was the first issue of Nintendo Power, which all but claimed the game could cure Chlamydial infection.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.8 - I'm Dreamin' of a Hallmark Christmas!
The Hallmark Halloween commercial I reviewed back in October was more inspired and full of holiday sprit, but to this old Christmas version's credit, I did leave it really wanting to wrap presents. Sadly forgoing the promotion of the many dolls, doodads, gag gifts and decorations Hallmark stores sell during the Christmas season, this one focuses in only on wrapping paper. Bows too, if you want to count them separately. With tiptoe-inducing music and the random inclusion of a cute little kitten, you're going to be swayed into buying extravagant ultra wrapping paper at ten bucks a roll over the cheap stuff, guaranteed. It's virtually unrippable. So fun to watch people try.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.9 - McDonalds + Cinderella = Festive Fun!
The best of the McDonald's Christmas commercials are already splattered around X-E, but here's a new one. The fast food giants often devised special holiday promotions to ensure a wealth of December cheeseburger sales, and in 1987, the deal was this: spend a few bucks on McDonald's gift certificates, and you'd take home either "Gus" or "Jacques," the mice from Cinderella. The plush dolls were ornament sized, noted by the tree-hanging loops of string busting out of their scalps, noted again by the fact that they're really really small. I've always been more of a fan of the gift certificates themselves, allegedly perfect stocking stuffers, with Birdie taking Abe's place on the five dollar McBill. The monetary value of 'em was unimportant -- moreover, the certificates were free tickets to McDonald's. So long as we had them, Papa couldn't say no.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.10 - The Radio Shack Christmas Party!
This ad has an interesting conceit -- instead of just playing up how powerful the computers stocked at Radio Shack were by a mere montage and a series of bullet points, the point is illustrated by showing a guy entrenched in off-time work in his office, rushing through whatever terrible things needed to be done at that very moment. His wife is constantly buzzing in, complaining that he's late to their Christmas party. Once he finishes, it's the big surprise reveal as he walks out of his office straight into the ongoing Christmas party being solo-hosted by his all too understanding wife in the adjacent living room. Had it not been for Radio Shack's devotion to only carrying quality goods, he would've missed the cocktail hour. The party looks rockin' -- lots of little appetizer trays.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.11 - M&M's Do It Right For The Holidays!
Like Coca Cola, M&M's have somehow become one of the staple "Christmas junk foods," thanks largely in part to crafting bags of only red and green candies during the holiday season. M&M's aren't even in my top dozen favorite "pop" candies, but come Christmastime, I can't stay away from those red and green mongrels, especially when Spain's finest lurk just beneath the surface. This commercial predates the wise decision to offer the holiday themed packs, but the points are still conveyed as a family that might as well be yours does everything a family does during the Christmas season while eating M&M's. Every tradition is tied to eating M&Ms. There's even a sugary Christmas song to set the mood. You won't be all that into in on the first listen, but give it a few tries and you'll be Googling to find out how to transform WMV files into MP3s.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.12 - Angel Soft Toilet Paper! Christmassy!
Well, here's an interesting little gem -- an Angel Soft toilet paper commercial, which in of itself is moderately hilarious even before you factor in all of the naked babies with angel wings and silly idea that this is a Christmas commercial. With holiday music and a VO guy wishing good cheer, it seems more like they redid the sound for a completely not-related-to-Christmas ad that originally sung the praises of a cushy light touch for your disgusting dirty ass. Charmin would later top this unbridled display of oddity with the fabled Cartoon Bears Shitting In The Woods campaign.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.13 - I Wanna Be A Toys 'R' Us Kid!
Here's a feisty Toys "R" Us commercial from the same year as the Mario 2 ad above, reworking the classic "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" theme with hip beats and featuring people in up-to-the-minute stylish clothes. The summertime themes and frequent pool shots prove that this is a Christmas commercial. It's a little surprising that TRU didn't hold on to this more upbeat version of their song longer -- it inarguably packs twice the toe-tapping firepower, and there's all of these funky carnival toots and whistle puffs going on. I'll never understand why TRU doesn't pump the song through the store speakers at all times. Whenever I hear it, my first impulse is to take speed and buy lots of Milton Bradley games. If I finish fast enough, I'll still have time to get jiggy with it before the song ends. Beware my two-step shoe-hop.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.14 - Scrooge Loves Chicken McNuggets!
I'm reusing this one from one of the old Thanksgiving Parade reviews because, that's, my, prerogative. This has become one of my all-time favorite Christmas commercials, even if it's nowhere near the most popular. Some of you may remember a time when McDonald's was bold enough to suggest Chicken McNuggets for your party hosting convenience. This ad really goes for the throat, staging a Christmas party starring everyone from Rudolph to Tiny Tim himself, where McNuggets are the only food being offered. Scrooge is the main culprit, crusty but still giddy over his beloved McNuggets, which he halfheartedly shares because it's his party and deep down he knows he's supposed to. The commercial so full of life and obnoxious that you can't possibly leave it not wanting to make more of your holiday season. Henjoi.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.15 - The Jetsons Want Phones For X-Mas!
Reader Doc Brown donated this one -- it's not very very old, obviously, but it's certainly Christmassy. Somehow connecting Radio Shack to Sprint to The Jetsons, the ad features all new animation of George, Jane and the dog as they plow through Radio Shack on the hunt for hip Christmas presents. There's a live action Sprint guy chatting with 'em, who ends up being wrapped up as a giant living gift to serve a punchline so stupid that I still can't believe they went through all this trouble for it. But, when I'm thinking of ways for Radio Shack/Sprint ads to hold my attention even for a split second, adding The Jetsons into the mix without reason ranks pretty high. File is in MPG format, because I like Orbity.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.16 - Rosie & Penny Love K-Mart, A Lot!
Rosie O'Donnell. Penny Marshall. K-Mart. But for the slightest twist of fate, this could've been the number one sitcom for eighty-five years running, because no matter what you think of the participants, a certain undeniable hypnosis came upon us every time these commercials came on. And hey, I'm sure Rosie's an easy target for many of you, but she's good enough for Penny Marshall, and pretty much anything that's good enough for Penny is good enough for us. This K-Mart Christmas ad makes me want to learn how to cook hens and fashion little frilled drumstick holders for them out of napkins.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.17 - A Very New York Lottery Christmas!
I'm an incredibly devoted sucker for scratch-off lotto games, literally to the point where I have to factor an additional 10-20 bucks into our weekly grocery store budget for each time I pass the damn machine on the way out. During Christmastime it's even worse, what with all of the holiday-themed editions featuring jolly snowmen holding money and pictures of Santa Claus with dollar signs over his eyes. The games have also become the premiere gift to give old ladies who already have forty boxed teapot sets -- my grandmother will be receiving a bunch of them, though only half of the originally intended amount because I couldn't help myself. Sorry Grandma. I only won five bucks on 'em. Anyway, this ad accentuates everything I just said, but it's a lot more yelly.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.18 - Ooooh, Yay, X-Mas Specials!
We've spoken many, many times before about the importance of holiday specials. They're one of the first traditions we think of when Christmas or Halloween spring to mind, and if you think about it, watching holiday specials is just about the only tradition we can really count on. I've seen a lot of Christmas specials, and I love them all to death, but there's only a few that I'd consider my own personal all-time classics. The top two are promoted in this commercial -- A Charlie Brown Christmas, and A Garfield Christmas. Though Snoopy's foray admittedly holds up a little better than Garfield's nowadays, they're both sprayers of joy. Though each is available on DVD, it's never the same without the network TV feel. I need to have the fleeing notion that the censors are cutting out sex scenes.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.19 - The Toys 'R' Us Christmas Robot!
The video quality of the download sucks for this one, but it's just too cool of an ad to leave out. Though definitely a Christmas commercial, the focal point of this mid 80s Toys 'R' Us commercial is a man-sized robot that looks either like a giant Omnibot toy or Screech's roommate Kevin. It's one of the sleeker TRU ads, with fog machines and glowy lights and Geoffrey bopping like it's 1999. The mysterious robot even adds a verse to the classic Toys 'R' Us theme, segueing nicely into a batch of vocal pitches for various toy offerings. Very cool, but probably a bit counterproductive since no kid on the planet would leave that commercial wanting the toys more than the thing talking about them. Mom get me the million dollar robot guy.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.20 - Santa's Battery-Operated Reindeer!
Why should Energizer have all the fun? Their fierce competitors from Duracell also knew how to get down with the holiday spirit, proven here as Santa Claus charges up his evil robotic reindeer with a big ol' "D" battery. Been a long time since I've had any reason to buy those. After the commercial successfully connects Duracell batteries with Rudolph, we're treated to a list of things that make the company's patented "copper top testing" feature so great. If you've lost your memory in a sea of drunk, consumers could test a Duracell battery's vitality by pressing it against a strip on the package. If the bar filled with color, you're all good. If not, your Christmas was ruined.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.21 - Hooray for Christmas McNuggets!
Not that this page needs another connection between Christmas and McDonald's Chicken McNuggets drawn, but hey, I'm running out of material. As in the "McScrooge" ad up above, here's another that tries to establish those heavenly lumps of fried bird tits as the premiere appetizer for your holiday party. McDonald's did such a primo job of conveying this rather debatable message, I'm tempted to do away with our traditional dishes on the 25th and just eat six 20-packs of McNuggets. Or maybe 20 six-packs, so I'd have more empty Styrofoam containers to build prop turrets with. The commercial stars living, breathing Chicken McNuggets, doughy eyes and all. Aside from promoting themselves as tasty treats, the nugs also play up McD's gift certificates as the most super yum time way to fill a stocking.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.22 - Ho Ho Ho, I'm Huh Huh Hungry!!
My single greatest talent: impressions of Fred Flintstone from Post Fruity Pebbles commercials. I don't know where I got the ability to let out a 10.0 perfect "BAHH-NEE!" at will, but it's in me, and I will get through life on it. I talked about this commercial last year -- it's a true classics, way up in my top five most favoritest Christmas commercials ever. Barney dresses as Santa to trick Fred into hanging over of bowl of festive cereal, but when the real Claus arrives, HELL BREAKS LOOSE. The ad is six hundred kinds of gorgeous and remains one of the only things on this planet capable of strangling a bad mood out of my soul in thirty seconds flat. Now out of rotation -- fuck you Mr. Television -- I'm terribly saddened to know that today's generation of kids won't grow up understanding why Fruity Pebbles is the true spirit of Christmas.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.23 - Santa Claus' 900 Line?!
Longtime readers (as in, longer than a year...) should remember this ad -- it's the eeenfamous Santa Claus 900 line! Soulless beyond compare, it's a completely legal scam, and that makes it all the more annoying. Basically, kids could call into this really long number and listen to Santa drone on at about a rate of four words per minute, saying nothing of note, but saying it very, very slowly. I remember this one thoroughly from those forever ago afternoons spent watching the Ninja Turtles kick tail and eat pizza, and during the Christmas season of whatever year that was, this commercial turned up during virtually every break. I guess it was successful, but man, you've gotta feel for any parent who left their kid unattended by a reachable phone. Could any child capable of dialing numbers resist talking to Santa? Humbug.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.24 - Cap'n Claus' Christmas Crunch!
Christmas Crunch returns to X-E! You can read the full scale review of the season's best breakfast here, but I'm rerunning it on the Advent Calendar for two reasons: I love it, and I'm out of new downloads. Oops. Regardless, Cap'n Crunch has never been so endearing as the time he pranced around as Cap'n Claus, promoting his special holiday edition throat crushers in rhyme and love. Readers tell me that Christmas Crunch is still on sale, but I haven't been able to find the stuff in my area for years. December mornings just haven't been the same without it, so if you share my terrible predicament, hopefully this download will help you circumvent the depression. Here's the original Christmas Crunch commercial, from the Cap'n to you.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!
12.25 - Merry X-Mas From Ronald McDonald!
Didn't seem right go into repeats and exclude this one, first seen on the site during the '84 Macy Parade review. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, for whatever you want to classify the particular generation X-E caters to, this is the ultimate Christmas commercial. Considering the amount of holiday ads McDonald's threw together, that's saying something. In this unusually long advert, Ronald leads a huge pond skating session as various cartoon bunnies and deer watch on, along with one little boy who just can't grasp the concept of skating. Just before he gets too upset, Ronald focuses 100% of his attention on the boy, lifting him into the air as if he's the daddy and the kid's his son and he just got back from the longest business trip ever. Forget the food, it's not even mentioned. Watch it, you'll feel awesome. Merry Christmas, everyone.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT!

   


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