Tag Archives: Halloween

It’s Great Advertising, Charlie Brown!

You guys, “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” is on TONIGHT! What’s more, this is 50th anniversary and I’m totally geeking out. I love “Great Pumpkin.” It’s sweet and classic and they say “tricks or treats.” But there is another reason why I’m so fond of the show, watching “Great Pumpkin” is where I realized that maybe I enjoyed advertising more than the average kid.

You see, for me Peanuts holiday specials and their years-long sponsor, Dolly Madison, (makers of fine snack cakes) are inextricably linked. 1980’s Aunt Mary greeted the Dolly Madison ads as a welcome part of the show, an old friend that was as much a part of the tradition as every pumpkin in the patch or ghost costume.  Even now when I watch a Peanuts show I have a deep sadness that they no longer run the sponsor card for Dolly Madison. “Can’t they just add it in for nostalgia’s sake?” I think, even though I know they can’t.

When “Great Pumpkin” first aired in the 1960’s, the opening sequence included a shout-out to their sponsors. The nod was edited out for later viewings, though Dolly Madison continued sponsoring the show into the 1980’s.

Dolly Madison used the Peanuts characters in their advertising and packaging from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. Hostess, makers of Dolly Madison cakes, announced plans to stop producing snack cakes in 2012, though subsequent communication indicated a plan to relaunch in the future.

Happy watching! May your pumpkin patch be sincere and your rock treats be few.

Halloween Ad Grab Bag

I was unable to settle on just one ad, or really get my teeth into any one story this week so let’s just spoil our dinner on a buffet of awesome retro commercials! Like a good trick or treat bag, Halloween ads are varied and plenty.

When door-to-door trick or treating became an actual thing in the first half of the 20th century, manufacturers tussled to get a piece of the Halloween action. For a while cereal companies tried to strong arm their way in by advertising that individual cereal boxes were perfect to hand out to the ghouls at the door. How cool would that be to crack open a box of trick or treat on the morning of November 1st?

Keep the sugar rush going 'round the clock!
Keep the sugar rush going ’round the clock!

When it became apparent that this whole trick or treating thing was going to stick, the candy gods figured they could take a hold of the market by selling bulk, mini treats as a convenient answer to the homemade sweets many families handed out..

This is Just For Halloween, ya hear.
This is Just For Halloween, ya hear. The kids in this ad seem a little nervous. 

I like this ad just because it says “tricks or treats” on the kids’ bags just like from Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I’m also glad the kid from A Christmas Story found a use for his pajama bunny suit present.

Full sized candy bars! What are we, rich?
Full sized candy bars! What are we, rich?

Our final Halloween tribute ad is a gem from the 2000 Olympic Games and reported to have been banned. Staring a smokin’ hot Olympiad and a Michael Myers/Jason Voorhees type, the take away message here is Nike shoes will save your life. Also if you have plans to be a crazed serial killer it might be good to include some cardio in your prep.

Happy Halloween!