November 13, 2012 by bryannosaurusrex
Yes that’s right kids! Our favourite time of the year is upon us once again! We get off school and just like the majestic Atlantic salmon, migrate home for the fun, frolics, food, family and festivities (no such luck for the salmon, school….. of fish..…salmon is a fish….never mind). Come to think of it, salmon probably wasn’t a good comparison. They don’t eat on their migration, many of them get devoured by hungry bears on their way upriver, and if they’re lucky, at the end they mate themselves to death. As you will no doubt be with your relations, I sincerely hope your holiday migration is pretty much the opposite to that of our dear, tasty friend; the salmon.
On a more serious note, we get so caught up in the rush to celebrate the 25th of December, the birthday of so many of our favourite gods, (Horus, Osiris, Attis, Krishna, Zarathustra, Mithra, Hercules, Dionysus, Tammuz, Adonis, Hermes, Bacchus, Prometheus, Jesus and perhaps most famously, Humphrey Bogart) we forget what Christmas is all about.
And what childhood could be complete without the Jawsome STREET SHARKS!
I honestly can’t remember a time when I was more excited than Christmas 1996. It saddens me to say that I have resigned myself to never being in such a state of excitement ever again. It was the most important toy based event of my young life. For it was Christmas 1996 that I received the greatest, and to this day most prized of all my toys.
Beast Wars MEGATRON.
50% Maniacal evil Robot.
100% The greatest toy ever made.
(Optimus Primal receives an honourable mention, my brother Michaelociraptor got that the very same Christmas.)
This brilliant toy clearly had a big impact on the young Bryannosaurus-Rex.But what makes that Christmas so memorable, and the toy I was given so special, is not how cool Megatron looks when he is in battle mode (and that’s pretty cool), it’s something else.
Anticipation is a big deal to us Dinosaur-Robot loving humans. It has been described as being the push and the pull in human motivation. As Kelly (1955) wrote: “It is the future which tantalizes man, not the past. Always he reaches out to the future through the window of the present”. Nowhere is this truer than with children at Christmas. Christmas is without a doubt the most highly anticipated event of the year, and I’m sure you will all agree that many of our most vivid memories from childhood are from Christmas. Nitschk (2006) found that anticipation actually aids memory formation, and the more highly anticipated the event, the more memorable it will be.
What could be more highly anticipated than receiving gifts, while off school, from a magical bearded fat man AND having two weeks off to devote yourself entirely to playing with them?
There are so many unanswered questions, did Santa get my letter? (my younger cousins send Santa an e-mail) Was I good all year? More to the point, did Santa see me when I was bad? Even though I included clippings from the Argos catalogue of the toy in question to make sure, there is still a shadow of doubt as to whether or not Santa knows exactly which toy it is that I want. And with so many unanswered questions, there is anticipation.
I may claim not to like Christmas, and it’s true, I don’t; not like I used to anyway. I do love seeing my family, and I do enjoy seeing my younger cousins proudly parade their gifts around the house. But Christmas is not what it was. It’s not like the good old days; when toys were muscular mutated shark-men who were apparently related to each other, blood thirsty transforming dinosaur robots and facially scarred Special Forces roller-blade wearing sniper photographers with real karate kick action.
That’s not to say I hate Christmas, I don’t. I just don’t anticipate it as much as I did when I was younger. What I enjoy most about Christmas is being with my family and remembering what Christmas used to be like. Christmas transports me back to my childhood, which was an exceptionally happy one. That’s where nostalgia comes in.
Havlen and Holak (1991) found that nostalgia is basically magic wrapped in silk and dipped in chocolate. Especially when it comes to advertising. It hijacks our memories and emotions tied to past events, kidnaps them, keeps them in the well in the basement and uses them to make us feel a certain way about a certain product. Have you ever wondered why Christmas advertisements are never set in the future? Have you noticed how many companies’ Christmas campaigns are set in the past? Even the newest advertisements are set back in the 1900’s.
Come to think of it, how many companies have been using the same Christmas advertisements as far back as any of us care to remember? That’s not because they’re lazy. It’s because they’re geniuses.
That Budweiser advertisement was nostalgic when it was made in 1987, and I still see it on TV every year. Along with, of course, the classic of all classics.
What did you notice about that Coke advertisement? Watch it again.
That’s right, it’s the double.
Nostalgia and Anticipation in one masterful advertisement.
Holidays are comin’, Holidays are comin’. If that doesn’t build your anticipation for Christmas I don’t know what will (and you’re a horrible person).
If you remember Christmas, you remember the Coke Christmas trucks advertisement. You remember how good last Christmas was, and how much you love coke. BOOM nostalgia.
For that reason, it is one of the greatest advertisements of all time.