This story was originally published on December 10, 2014.
There are so many things that vacation in Maine means. Tree-lighting ceremonies in city centers. The tolling of the Salvation Army bells is ringing in front of department stores. Santa Claus arriving by truck, or boat, or more precisely by lobster boat. Sometimes even a helicopter. Great ham, turkey and lamb races in Hannaford. Peanut Butter Scoops, or Rum Scoops, or Chex Mix, or Fruit Cake, or other seasonal treats from your mom.
But there’s one thing that’s so unique to Maine, so utterly symbolic of Christmas or Hanukkah or the way you choose to celebrate the season, so adorably festive, that hearing it brings back a flood of memories. I’m talking about the Bangor Savings Bank Christmas kitten ad featuring two little gray tiger cats destroying in the most delicious way possible all those presents that took hours to wrap and spill the cookies and milk. of Santa Claus. Also known as the biggest advertisement ever.
According to Bangor Daily News archives, these cute little furballs belonged to a woman named Barbara Harris, who loaned the kittens (named Willie and Waylon, little outlaws that they were) to the agency. advertisement responsible for making an advertisement for the bank. According to a Bangor Savings Facebook post linked to the beloved commercial, it was filmed in 1980. According to the person who uploaded the YouTube video above, Eric Jurgensen, who was the cameraman for the commercial, the concept was created by Maine ad man Jack Havey, who then took the kittens to his camp on Lake Maranacook. The kittens, now reportedly 34, are obviously not available for comment.
The ad lasted more than two decades until her retirement in 2006, because despite her epic levels of cuteness, she looks quite dated, and Bangor Savings Bank hasn’t called itself “The Source” in years. decades. Thanks to the magic of the internet, however, these fuzzy little rascals can live on in perpetuity, and Bangor Savings Bank has cleverly brought back the advertising each holiday season as a reminder that they made your childhood magical. And over the years, thousands of young children in Maine have likely begged, pleaded, and manipulated their parents into offering them a kitten.