Back to the 80s: Folgers Holiday Commercial – Kickin’ it Old School

This time of year, I do special issues on 80s holiday movies, songs and television specials. I thought of a new 80s holiday pop culture contributor worth adding to that group, holiday commercials. I have done issues on 80s commercials already including Seagram Wine Coolers with Bruce Willis, Calvin Klein jeans with Brooke Shields, Dr. Pepper “Be a Pepper,” and Pepsi with Michael Jackson. This issue will hopefully remind you of a holiday favorite.

I was obviously not a coffee drinker at the time and never have developed the taste for coffee even now, but there is a particular Folgers coffee holiday commercial that is memorable to me. It is memorable to a lot of people since it ran off an on for 17 years beginning back in 1986. Here is the commercial which features a college student “Peter” (played by actor Greg Wrangler) coming home for Christmas despite a snow storm. He makes Folgers coffee with his little sister which wakes up the rest of the family to find that “Peter” was home. It follows the normal tagline of “the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.” You can watch this classic holiday commercial yourself:

Like I said, this spot started back in 1986 but would continue its run during the Christmas season through about 2003. It always reminds me of the 80s which is usually a good thing for me. The commercial was created by the Cunningham & Walsh agency which technically no longer exists (merged into other agencies), Folgersbut they did an incredible job of capturing the warm fuzzy feeling of family and the holidays. At the same time, they created an timeless iconic moment which would serve to promote the Folgers brand for years and years to come.

There is a new 2009 version of this commercial with a new “Peter” coming home from doing volunteer work overseas. It is supposedly based on a real-life story, but does not seem to have the same effect the original did (at least to me). I could not share a video to watch because I could not find one online. In the 2009 Brandweek Directory, the Folgers brand was listed among the top superbrands, with a $37.3 million ad budget. Folgers, founded in 1860, last year was sold by Proctor & Gamble to J.M. Smucker for just under $3 billion. Smucker has purchased other iconic P&G brands including Jif and Crisco, all of which it is attempting to revitalize.

As I mentioned, I have never been a coffee drinker and probably never will, but I can still hum the Folgers song and have fond memories of this holiday commercial. Now, I spend time trying to avoid watching commercials, so to have one as touching and memorable as the original Folgers “Peter Comes Home” commercial is a special accomplishment.

That’ll do it for this short holiday issue of Kickin’ it Old School. Thanks as always for reading. If you are interested in reading any of my other 80s related issues, please click there for a summary of those. You can also always click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the Google Search Box at the top of the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. If you are a fan of Kickin’ it, PLEASE CLICK ON THE FACEBOOK LOGO in the upper right hand column. This will take you to the Fan Page where I ask you to then click on “Become a Fan”. Even if you are not a Facebook member yet, please consider joining and registering as a fan at that page. You can also follow Old School on Twitter by clicking on the FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER LOGO also in the upper right hand column. This will take you the page and you can just click on the box that says “Follow”. I am sending daily 80s tweets, so sign up to get those. Let other 80s fans know about it as well! Peace and much love.

Check this out: Came across these humorous Snow People cartoons and with winter fully upon us, I thought they would be appropriate to share here…






Quote of the day: “To the American People: Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” -Calvin Coolidge (Presidential message December 25, 1927)

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  1. Oh those 80’s memories — Very nice piece. I like the new one with the Riverdancing. Happy Holidays!

  2. Ahh, the inviting aroma of coffee…

    I enjoyed that commercial then, and again now, thanks to you.

    I have always enjoyed the aroma of coffee, even before I started drinking it.

    I didn’t start to drink coffee until after age 25 or so, but I always enjoyed the aroma of it brewing. I remember that even opening a new can of coffee was special; such as when the can opener would pierce the can and the pressurization would release the aroma of the coffee.

    My sister and her hubby grind coffee beans the night before and set up the coffee maker so we have fresh coffee when we awaken; and when doing that is another time the coffee aroma is so inviting.

    I take my coffee with cream and sugar ~ ahh, coffee!!!
    I think I’ll go get a cup of coffee, and a cookie, too, of course!

    Thanks for this post!

    I hope you and your family have a special time for the holidays!

  3. love that comercial – think I saw a new one for this year very similar

  4. Folgers, my cup of coffee — “The best start to getting up is Folger’s in your cup!” — so true. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

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