Why Christmas Commercials are so Flipping Annoying

If you live in North America or other places where Christmas is observed, expect to see public service announcements from your local TV station wishing you a Happy Holidays. With Christmas in less than a week, I’d like to take the time to tell you why Christmas commercials can be so flipping annoying at the time.

Almost all TV stations are required by the government to air a certain number of public service announcements per day, and it is not uncommon for a station to repeat the same ad over and over. TVTropes calls this Repeating Ad, the act of airing a single commercial twice within a single break. Their repetition is meant to make the commercial’s content stick in viewers’ heads like a curse. And you won’t stand a chance avoiding them if it’s online such as YouTube or other video streaming sites.

During the entire month of December, this trope will be forced upon them up to eleven. Every local station will produce one or two ads like these and then blanket nearly all breaks on every local broadcast channel. And it’s not limited to local channels. Brand companies always hold sales during the holiday season as a way to sell off their products with those obnoxious commercials. Even after Christmas, it’s still possible to see Christmas ads on TV. James Rolfe did an entire YKWBS rant on Christmas aftermath. Just tell those advertisers to shut the heck up.

Here are some examples of Christmas ads under this trope:

  • If you lived in Erie, Pennsylvania, where Drillimation Systems is based, for the past five years, you would’ve ended up seeing PSAs like these hosted by children during the holiday season and often end up singing Christmas songs like in other ads. And guess what? They air it nearly every single ad break. They thought children would be able to tolerate it. Now in my adult age, I can’t. And during one break a few days ago, they aired the same ad three times within a ten-minute timestamp.
    • Same goes for Crazy Monkey, another local organization unrelated to the above. Their ad played twice in a single break during the summer of 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic raging.
  • Every time a new Mini Pop Kids album is released, YTV and Teletoon in Canada would take every ad opportunity to squeeze a promotion in almost every break. The Christmas season was the worst offender as it extended into January of the next year.
  • If you grew up in the late 1980s or early 1990s, ads for the Santa Claus hotline often aired during Saturday mornings and weekday broadcasts of cartoons in the United States during the holiday season nearly every break or even twice in one break.
  • In December 2008, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular often aired during every ad break on ABC in New York City. It also aired on their rival channel CBS.

If there’s any I missed, let me know in the comments. If you hate those repetitive ads so much, why do you choose to live in a country that observes Christmas? That answer may be unknown, but you can just hibernate until it’s all over by visiting a country that doesn’t recognize Christmas. And next year, get ready to deal with it again and again.


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