Ads #6: Christmas Ads

Well, I like my retro ads like I like my album covers: kitschy and excessively garish. Here's a few of my favorites.

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" like firearms. Hey kids, let's gather round the Christmas tree, brandish assault rifles and sing carols!
Holiday hint: Glock 9mm pistols make great stocking stuffers! (ad found here)

"Deck the Halls with Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz"In 1979, this little gem appeared in magazines. Sammy Davis Jr. as Santa is just classic. Go here to view the TV commercial. A thank you to A Christmas Yuleblog for bringing it to my attention.

This 1951 ad features Santa in a very awkward position indeed. You can cut the sexual tension with a knife...

And they thought Joe Camel was bad - he was nothing compared to the many Santa cigarette ads. It's like having Care Bears selling Marlboros. (Come to think of it - even Fred Flintstone sold Winstons; watch Fred and Barney light up here). This Chesterfield ad features the Skipper's dad (Alan Hale, Sr.) as a tobacco pushing Santa Claus.

During the Atomic Age, aluminum trees were in vogue. The more metallic and blatantly artificial the better. Looking at these high-tech "trees of tomorrow", I'm reminded of the Charlie Brown Christmas special where he rejects the flashy neon abominations in favor of something real - a genuine Christmas tree.

And one last thing before I go...

found here


  1. These Christmas ads are sometimes the best. I remember Daisy BB guns ads and I have a small collection of BB guns some where. I have so much on my hard drive and backed up disks I forget where it is all at.

    What is the story (if you know) with that Batman ad. Was that a parody or was there story where Batman smacked the piss out of Robin for real?

  2. Bill- I love watching those old commercials from the 50's - the ads geared toward young boys were so gender specific and inevitably involved some form of weaponry; whereas the girl products were always of the Suzie Homemaker variety. By the 70's, the "Free to be you and me" philosophy had firmly taken hold and boys and girls were no longer different, and guns are BAD.

    As far as the Batman panel goes, I haven't the slightest clue if it's legit or not. I swiped it from the Bride of Awesomeness blog and found it so hilarious I had to include it here on retrospace.

  3. Hey Gilligan. Wow! That was so awesome. I really loved the Sammy Alka Seltzer ad stuff. I never knew about that. Just watched that commercial. Thanks for sharing that with us here. That made my night. Cheers!

  4. Just stumbled on your site and greatly enjoy it. (I too was intrigued by Bill Bryson's reference to Asbestos Lady and came across you in my research.)

    However, I have to offer a tiny correction on the identity of the Chesterfield Santa above. That's actually the Skipper's father, Alan Hale Sr., a popular character actor on the silver screen of the '30s and '40s (note the ad's reference to the 1947 film "My Wild Irish Rose"). He's probably best remembered for his portrayal of Little John in "The Adventures of Robin Hood," one of many movies he made with his pal Errol Flynn. But that little slip is easily forgiven, since the son was not only his namesake, but also bore a striking resemblance to his father.

    Thanks for keeping the past present in such an entertaining way.

  5. Keith- I aim to please.

    Mike- I will correct the Skipper error ASAP. Thank you so much for the information, and I'm glad you enjoyed the site!... and, yes, the Asbestos Lady infatuation was intriguing.

  6. Thanks for the mention of the yuleblog - hmm, some of these ads look familiar!