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Commercialized Christmas

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"Well, if they're not here for the Christmas pitch, I can't help them find new ways of tying their product in to Christmas. That's why I'm chairman of this board! Let's hear it for me!"
Mr. Scrooge, from Stan Freberg's "Green Chri$tma$"

Some people ask themselves what they can do to show the Christmas spirit. The people who make TV commercials ask themselves how Christmas can showcase their product. The veneer on this facade is as thin as the snow on the Hollywood sound stages these commercials were filmed on. See also Christmas Rushed and Christmas Creep.


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  • The Flintstones Cereal Christmas commercials.
  • "Happy Honda Days."
  • Car commercials with price tags framed like Christmas ornaments, or with huge bows on top of the cars.
  • Jingle Bells corrupted to ""
  • Fruit of the Loom commercial over-emphasizing the "comfort" in "tidings of comfort and joy."
  • Norelco shows Santa riding through the snow on one of their razors.
  • The commercial with the gingerbread man where tossing his kids cell phones constitutes the extent of his holiday festivities.
  • McCormick - "Tis the seasoning!"
  • Coca-Cola. They didn't invent the image of fat, red-and-white-suited, white-bearded Santa Claus, but their advertising starting in pre-broadcast times helped to make the version that matched their company colors the memetic Santa (also the polar bears).
  • The commercial with the Hershey's Kisses playing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" as little bells.
  • Honey Nut Cheerios has a holiday commercial in which Ebenezer Scrooge is tempted by the honey and nuts.
  • The Radio Shack Holiday Heroes ads blatantly implies that Christmas is all about the presents. [1]
  • December 2010 Best Buy campaign. Similiar to Radio Shack above, with most blatant openly stating that Christmas Magic is about more viable payment options.
  • Budweiser's Clydesdale horses. Everyone wants to get drunk on Christmas!
  • "Fa-la-la-la, fa-la-la-la, T.J. Maxx!" (Its parent company reworked the lyrics to "Up on the Housetop" to plug T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods stores.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • Spoofed on Dinosaurs during the Refrigerator Day episode: "We wish you a happy Fridge Day / We wish you a happy Fridge Day / We wish you a happy Fridge Day / So come in and buy paint!"
  • Stephen Colbert has pointed out that when "culture warriors" like Bill O'Reilly insist that stores should refer specifically to Christmas and not "the holidays," what they're actually demanding is that the Christian festival they're trying to defend should be used as a vulgar marketing tool. You'd think that if they're really concerned with preserving the True Meaning of Christmas, they'd be glad to have it distanced from the kind of advertising described above.
  • Once Super Sentai and Kamen Rider adopted little collectible items as the foci of their toylines, it was a short hop to add a Christmas-themed collectible in the set as a holiday promotion. These may or may not receive gratuitous Product Placement in the shows themselves.

  • A major theme of Tom Lehrer's "A Christmas Carol", on An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer.
    Hark, the Herald Tribune sings,
    Advertising wondrous things.
    God rest ye merry, merchants,
    May you make the Yuletide pay.
    Angels we have heard on high
    Tell us to go out and buy.

  • Plumbing the Death Star did a Christmas special on which fictional character could sub for Santa the best, which went downhill when one of them suggested Ronald McDonald. The main objection to letting Ronald McDonald become Santa Claus is that he'd ruin Christmas by turning it into McDonald's Day and only giving children Happy Meals instead of actual presents, removing all magic and joy from the holiday and turning it into a hollow day of greed.

    Real Life 
  • In November 2013, former US Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin advocated the commercialization of Christmas, on the grounds that it helped spread awareness of Christianity in America.
  • Old prints and illustrations from the nineteenth century and before reveal that Father Christmas and his helpers could be any colour you liked, with (in Britain at least) yellow and green predominating. In Russia, "Ded Moroz" and his helpers still favour blue with white trim.note . Red only began to be the default colour with the global creep of Coca-Cola dressing Santa in their corporate colours.

    Recorded and Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Stan Freberg's 1958 comedy record "Green Chri$tma$" may very well be the Trope Namer. It takes characters from A Christmas Carol like Scrooge and Bob Cratchit and puts them into an executive firm about how to best advertise their products. Cratchit is an Honest Corporate Executive, whereas everyone else is decidedly not.
    Scrooge: Well, if they're not here for the Christmas pitch, I can't help them find new ways of tying their product in to Christmas. That's why I'm chairman of this board! Let's hear it for me!

    Video Games 
  • In The Darkside Detective, a TV in the electronics store window at the mall where McQueen goes Christmas shopping is showing an ad in which Santa exhorts children to make their parents prove how much they care by buying expensive presents.

    Western Animation 
  • In Neo Yokio's Christmas Episode, "Pink Christmas", Kaz's friendliest nemesis, Arcangelo Corelli, exploits the True Meaning of Christmas to convince the citizens of Neo Yokio that capitalism and the mindless exchange of presents are perverting the reason for the season, and that Christmas should be celebrated by coming together with their fellow man... to attend his (pricey) Christmas spectacular! While sales of more traditional Christmas goods drop precipitously, Arcangelo's event quickly becomes the hottest ticket in town.
    Arcangelo: Ho ho ho. Use offer code FUCKMATERIALGOODS to receive $5 off any purchase of $200 or more.
  • In the VeggieTales episode The Toy that Saved Christmas this is the whole marketing strategy for Buzzsaw Louie. The following lines are from a commercial for the toy:
    Mr. Nezzer: Buzzsaw Louie also knows the true meaning of Christmas! All you have to do is press his nose...
    Buzzsaw Louie: Christmas is when you get stuff! You need more toys!
    Mr. Nezzer: You just won't be happy until your parents get you a Buzzsaw Louie, the only toy with a working buzzsaw, and the true meaning of Christmas!
    Buzzsaw Louie: Billy has more toys than you!

Bob Cratchit: Well, I guess you fellas will never change.
Mr. Scrooge: Why should we? "Christmas" has two S's in it, and they're both dollar signs.

Alternative Title(s): Commercialised Christmas