Over on Facebook I mentioned, as I tend to do on an annual basis, that the Norelco Santa Ad is hands down my favorite Christmas commercial of all time.
My pal, Steve Bissette and others have weighed in with another great one, R. O. Blechman's spot for CBS.
I talked a little about the Blechman piece on FB after my friend, Betsy Gomez, posted it there a while back.
I wrote: "Man do I remember this CBS spot that ran when I was in high school. I'm not a person who who remembers a lot of details about animation but I do recall that this was by R O Blechman. His work was seemingly everywhere in the late 70s and early 80s and I think his influence cast a long shadow...from people like Keith Haring all the way to me. The sentiment of the spot's message is as true now as it ever was."
(Now that I see I meant to say late '60s not '70s...oh well)
In its short span Blechman's spot knocks the message of Peace on Earth right out of the park.
But is it a great ad?
What is it selling?
You were already watching CBS to see it.
That puts it into the realm of behavior reinforcement.
You are a fine person because you are watching CBS.
Now, if the goal of the spot was to say that "CBS is promoting world peace and to be kind to the environment"...well, those were not exactly the corporate goals of the Columbia Broadcasting System under William S. Paley!
Now on the other hand, the Norelco ad had a very tight sales goal.
Sell more Norelco razors.
Norelco entered the 60s facing declining sales of electric razors.
Its market share was declining.
The company made two critical marketing decisions:
Football and Santa.
Football and Santa.
Sales went up.
The company believed that their "Noelco" ad campaign was a big part that success.
I've always thought that this was, in part, because it marketed to kids and this was one of the only times of year where kids were ostensibly involved in making purchases for their Dad.
In those days, I firmly believe it was harder to know what get for Dad or Grandpa than it is today.
Kids didn't know what to buy.
How many jokes have there been over the years about sweaters, ties, shaving stuff, and other types of Christmas gifts over the years?
But by making this jolly Santa ad, they got the attention of the kids and helped make the suggestion that this a jolly good present for the man of the family.
(After all, it was competing with stuff like this doozy!)
The company believed that this was a good campaign and up-dated it at least two more times over the years.
On the one hand...did world peace go up?
Did Norelco razor sales go up?
The tight, concise story telling of this powerful 60 second micro-drama makes this arguably the best Christmas animation of the entire decade of the 1960s.
And that is what I was thinkin'....
What do you think?