Stuart Elliot of the New York Times explores the influence of pop culture in the marketing of Christmas in this week’s advertising column, Shorthand for a Holiday: Ralphie, the BB Gun and the Flagpole. As Elliot points out, “A Christmas Story” has become this generation’s “It’s A Wonderful Life.” The movie is based on autobiographical stories from Jean Shepherd’s book, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. The stories from the movie have been compiled into a book, also of the same name.
I had already seen the Cingular ads featuring a surprisingly accurate take-off of the movie. “Ralphie” gets a GoPhone in this version instead of an “official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle.”
Office Max is jumping on the Christmas Story bandwagon too with online games including one called “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out.”
“Fun is a big part of what our culture is,” Mr. Thacker (senior vice president for marketing and advertising at Office Max) said, contrasting the humor of “A Christmas Story” with the sentiment of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
In other Christmas news, you may have seen the story that a fellow in Cleveland had bought the house from “A Christmas Story” and restored it to its original movie splendor. Of course, he’s charging admission to visit. I’d like to see the furnace that the Old Man was always cursing at. Wouldn’t mind paying either.
TBS is showing this year’s marathon of “A Christmas Story” at 8 p.m. Dec. 24. But this family will be grabbing our video long before then.
Christmas Countdown -- 27 days