New Hershey’s Kisses commercial inspires Grinch-like rage

A scene from the new Hershey's Kisses commercial
The moment when it all goes wrong
Screenshot: YouTube (Other)

There are a lot of things to be angry about right now: COVID, the weather, toilet paper shortages, bad behavior from celebrities, COVID restrictions, people breaking COVID restrictions, the end of this season of The Great British Baking Show, etc., etc., etc. But it seems the people of America have decided to stage an uprising over a television commercial. Specifically the new-for-2020 holiday Hershey’s Kisses commercial.

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Hershey’s has been running the same 15-second Kisses ad every holiday season since 1989. It features a chorus of red and green Kisses, conducted by a silver Kiss, performing a bell rendition of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” At the end, the red Kiss responsible for the final trill uses its little flag to wipe its forehead (or what passes for a forehead on a Kiss) and heaves a sigh of relief that it didn’t mess the whole thing up.

This year, however, it decided to shake things up a little bit. The commercial begins as before, but then a tiny hand reaches from off camera to pluck the sighing Kiss from the chorus. (Rude!) The hand belongs to a little girl who is baking peanut butter blossom cookies with her dad while a jazzy rendition of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” plays in the background. It ends with a Hershey Kiss striptease.

I assume the striptease is what must be offending people. Or maybe the horn section. Or the possibility that the little Kiss bell chorus will be incorporated into cookies and baked in an oven.

Anyway, people, the backlash was intense. Today helpfully compiled a list of some of the most representative complaints from the YouTube commentary:

““I don’t mind an ADDITIONAL holiday commercial for Hershey’s, but warping the classic bells commercial SUCKS!”

“The perfect representation of 2020: completely ruined!”

Today responsibly went back to check with Hershey’s advertising department and learned that both ads would be running this year and that, in fact, the original bells ad had started appearing on November 23.

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“For viewers who love our original – don’t worry, we’ll be running both holiday ads this season,” Hershey’s said in a statement. “Keep your eyes peeled for our classic and iconic Bells spot as well as the newest ‘Bells to Blossoms.’”

So take that, haters! The original ad is also always available for viewing on YouTube. It’s nice to know that some problems can be solved so quickly and peacefully—if only people bother to pay attention.

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Associate editor of The Takeout. Chicagoan. Owned by dog.

DISCUSSION

itzbezzy
flying wombat

i found myself among those who got perturbed, but not because i hate the new version at all, it’s actually rather cute. but since they’ve been running the original for the majority of my life and it’s thus part of my Holiday Season Memory Catalog, it was jarring to hear something very familiar change up into something completely different. not horrible different, but still, different enough and a disruption of nostalgia, and in this year of chaos and headlines that even the onion would’ve passed on five years ago, i want my comfortable goshdarned hershey kiss commercial that feels like a hug because it’s comfy and familiar and i think a lot of people need that shit right now. ...i have stronger feelings about this than i realized.