Commercials you wish you didn't remember. WITH DOWNLOAD!
By Andrew - December 14, 2003

Welcome to NinjaCulture's 2003 Holiday festivities and possibly the most anti-Semetic part of the site. This is the big one, the marathon folks. And while other sites are going a whole Earth month with their Advent Calendars, we here at NinjaCulture have decided to bring a cozy 12 days of Christmas cheer to you and yours.

If you've ever seen a movie with Christmas portrayed as a high strung and cynical guy with a wacky cousin from far off lands, you may not know the true meaning of Christmas. Why? Because you were watching Perfect Strangers which, for the most part, has very little to do with Christmas, and it's also not a movie. So I'm here to inform you of what the true meaning of Christmas is. As I understand it, from watching two decades of television, Christmas is a horrible time when companies from around the world grab and tug at your pocket books through the miracle of advertisement, with hilarious results*. Oh yeah, there's this fat guy dressed in red, but he looks kinda sketchy to me.
*may or may not yield hilarious results. Available in the continental US only. Screw you Hawaii and Alaska!

I went digging through old tapes of Star Trek: The Next Generation that I had recorded for a friend that moved away to Kentucky and then died. Okay, so maybe he didn't die. And he didn't actually move away. And I didn't record the episodes for him. And perhaps this 'friend' never actually really existed. But in some way that doesn't label me an Überdork, I have about 40 four hour tapes worth of TNG. If you do the math, that's about a million hours. I also scoured the glorious Internet for old advertisements of Christmas past to bring you this delicious first morsel of the NinjaCulture Holiday Feast.

First up is a commercial from Atari circa Christmas 1983.

This commercial starts off with a family on Christmas Eve being tucked away into bed. It's hard to dicern what exactly is going on in that screen-shot due to the kid's parents spoiling them with millions of toys on their birthday two months ago, presumably. But if you squint you can see a mom and a dad that gave their kids the gift that gets you stuck in a hole, forever.

I don't know if you've played it, but E.T. for the Atari was one of the worst video games ever. In fact, it was so bad that Atari had to bury five million E.T. cartridges in the middle of the damn New Mexico Desert. This started a long lasting trend of bad video games based on movies.

The kids are all tucked in bed and everyone is sleeping, sugar plums may or may not be dancing in their heads. Unconfirmed reports suggest that they may. At any rate, an unwanted and unwelcome visitor shows up at the house, dressed in red and ready to kill. Well, he's probably not ready to kill, I just thought it sounded cool. He's kinda short to be Santa, and he's walking as if a small rodent has bitten him in his most secret of places. Could it be an elf? Maybe Santa had a few too many shots of his special "Santa-nog"* and couldn't make the world circling journey this year. Okay, okay, you got me. It's obviously E.T. and I've just been wasting everyone's time.
*Santa-nog - 1 part rum, no parts egg nog; stir

This thought just came to me. Have you ever wondered what E.T.'s name is? I mean it's not actually Extraterrestrial or Entertainment Tonight. That would be like calling one of us "human". Wait, no it isn't. Good lord what is it like?!

E.T. goes to the Christmas tree to get his present and it's a video game based on him! Personally, I'd find that a bit disconcerting. If I ever stumble upon a video game based on me I'd wonder who was watching me my whole life to create an accurate simulation of all that encompasses me. Of course, if it was me fighting the undead with a shotgun and a chainsaw for a hand, then I'd be more inclined to purchase said game. However, if the entirety my game was to fall in a hole and not be able to get out, I'd bury myself out in New Mexico. E.T., though, is having a pleasant time helping himself get back home.

The kids that are supposed to resemble Elliot and Gertie creep downstairs to find that a horrible alien creature is playing their Atari system. A bloodbath ensues.

This commercial fills me with the warmth of family, friends and beings from beyond the moon. Being the evil overlord that I am, I hate these feelings and want them to die. I don't care if they can or not, just make it happen.

Next up we have a generic Christmas commercial from 7-up. Remember 7-up? Of course you do. It's not like it's been discontinued or anything. You're probably drinking some right now, and if not, you should be. Surprisingly 7-up didn't pay a cent to write this paragraph. I feel kind of ripped off actually.

Anyways, before they were brainwashing website writers they were using the age-old television commercial. However I may have saved the best for first, since this commercial has nothing of real substance to it.

The spot starts off with the Spots (oh ho! ho!) jumping off a can of 7-up, as they would circa 1988. Nathan would probably agree with me on this that the 7-up Spots were one of the very few food mascots that were really any good. They even had a video game on the Super Nintendo. You say so what? So did Chester Cheetah of Cheetos fame, two actually! Yeah, he did, but those weren't any good. Come to think of it, neither was Cool Spot and now another one of my brilliant points is moot. Good work.

The great majority of the commercial is the Spots traveling around town in a stolen fire truck. Save for about two seconds at the end where a kid gets said fire truck for Christmas, that's the entire commercial. So you can see my predicament.

This commercial doesn't make me thirsty for 7-up and so it has failed. NEXT!

House of Guitars
I'll be surprised if you've seen this last commercial and don't live in Rochester, New York. It's one of those local commercials of lesser quality. You know the ones with the non-stop flashing text filmed with a handycam. This one, though, had a higher budget than any previous homegrown commercial I have ever seen. It's animated, and keeping with Christmas tradition, it's animated with clay. Claymation is as much of a staple of Christmas as ham. While I can explain neither, both explain why Santa is so lumpy.

The commercial starts off with an anthropomorphic Earth holding a "Merry Christmas" sign. Yeah, that's when you know you're in for the thirty second ride of your life.

Next we've got an exterior shot of the House of Guitars. It looks like the House of Guitars is an extremely festive place at around Christmas time. Maybe a bit too festive? I don't know where I'm going with that. The whole commercial is narrated by Simon of the Chipmunks.

There is so much crap going on here I almost had a seizure.

Inside, however, is where the real insanity takes place. We've got records running around under their own power, elves hopping around on springs and guys so excited about the low, low prices that their eyes feel the need to jump from their sockets in joy, Christmas joy.

In the end Elvis shows up in Santa's sleigh to deliver amplifiers and guitar picks to all the children of the world.

I'm not expecting you guys to understand this commercial in any way. Hell, I don't even get it. But apparently the people at the House of Guitars are batshit insane, yet incredibly crafty with clay.

In summation, I didn't realize that old Christmas commercials were so hard to come by. It's a unrepresented genre online and something I hope to rectify here on NinjaCulture in the future.



AIM: Terrahawk X
E-Mail: andrew@ninjacultr.com

Guess what! Buy me stuff and I'll probably write a 5000 word essay on how you're awesome.

Previous <-

NinjaCulture 2002-03 (E-mail) : Disclaimer : All media is property of their respective copyright holders
No portion of NinjaCulture may be re-printed without prior consent