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Seven Great Classic Christmas Car Ads

December 09, 2014

Christmas season car ads definitely aren’t like they used to be. And that’s a shame. Some of the earliest holiday car advertisements in magazines and newspapers were nothing short of an American art form. Take a look at some of our classic Christmas favorites. 

Buick, 1929

Buick 1929

Back in the good old days, cars and the ads to sell them were pretty much produced by hand. That makes this artful old ad from Buick something special. After all, when was the last time you laid eyes on a car ad suitable for framing? 

Lincoln, 1941

Lincoln 1941

While it’s hard to imagine in today’s economy, there was a time when average working Americans so routinely bought and gave away cars at Christmastime that targeting prospective buyers became a mainstay of holiday car advertising throughout the 1940s and ’50s. This ad is but one example suggesting that the old days were very good, indeed.

Studebaker, 1945

Studebaker 1945

In an ad that reads like a Christmas card to post-war America, Studebaker subtly pulls at the heart and the wallet strings with this portrait of holiday perfection.

Mercury, 1948

Mercury 1948

Here’s one more reason to love classic holiday car advertising—the admen of old didn’t give a rip about consumerism dominating the Christmas spirit. Here’s a great example of how Mercury built a classic holiday ad around that more-is-better mentality so prevalent in the years after the Second World War. 

Plymouth, 1948 

Plymouth 1948

After WWII, Plymouth ran a number of holiday ads like this one—a simple formula that combined a single line of dialogue and a hyper-idyllic scene oozing with sentimental, Rockwellian sap. Never in the history of America has a department store Santa and Christmas shopping with the family looked so good. But therein lay the pitch: A Plymouth could make all your impossible dreams come true.

Nash, 1951

Nash 1951

Let’s just slap a big red bow on the door and call it good. Outside of wondering if the creative team at Nash simply gave up trying to come up with a solid new idea for a holiday ad, the only other question about this one is why the man of the house isn’t out in the garage with a high-ball of holiday cheer and hollering at the kids to get their grubby mitts off the new car.

Cadillac, 1956

Cadillac 1956

The dazzling blond and the angel over the shoulder says you live a charmed life; the little jewelry gift box contains (surprise!) not a diamond ring or necklace but the real keys to a women’s heart—a brand new Caddy. 

 

Permission to reproduce the above listing was kindly provided by the Historic Vehicle Association.