Hess is Music to Our Ears

August 17, 2016

With those first chords of the rockin’ jingle “The Hess Truck’s Back,” a new era of the Hess Toy Truck was ushered in with the 1988 Hess truck commercial. Based on the classic 1963 chart-buster “My Boyfriend’s Back” by girl-group Angels, the first time that commercial jingle aired on TV sets up and down the East Coast was the moment the Hess Toy Truck became more than just the sight of the holiday season, but also the sound of the season.

Need a little refresher? Here are the original 1988 lyrics:

The Hess Truck’s back

And it’s better than ever

(Christmas is here – the Hess Truck’s back!)

A Racer and Truck

And they’re together

(Christmas is here – the Hess Truck’s back!)

Hey! The head and taillights lighting

Hey! That race car’s so exciting

So get yours now

‘Cause it’s better than ever

Aug 1 (2)

While Hess actually debuted its first TV commercial in 1980, it was eight years later that would come to define the sound of the Hess holiday season for the next few decades. “The Hess Truck’s Back” commercial for these popular toys ranks as one of the longest-running jingles in the history of TV advertising.

Every year since, the jingle has been revamped to ring in the start of the holidays with a new commercial featuring that year’s model, helping build anticipation for the holiday toys. As Twitter user KingMinos777 tweeted, “@hesstoytruck The Xmas TV commercial season is officially underway. Just saw my first #HessToyTruck 2014 holiday spot”

Each commercial takes months to develop, starting with up to 10 different concepts to bring the latest vehicle to life.  After narrowing down the final spot(s), new lyrics for the now-famous jingle are incorporated and then recorded.

Part of the process includes creating stencil drawings and animation that shows the roles that actors will later play out, as seen here:

Aug 2 (2)

Speaking of actors, the stars of the annual ads are the Hess Toy Trucks, of course, but the vehicles have had a notable supporting cast as well. Do you remember catching appearances by well-known and up-and-coming movie and television stars John Goodman (1982), Kirsten Dunst (1988 & ’89), Lacey Chabert (1990), and Hayden Panettiere (1996).

Whether the commercial features a celebrity or not, fans get excited to see how the commercial story plays out:

Aug 3 (2)

Manny Sixtysix tweeted about the Hess truck for 2014, “Can’t wait to see the #commercials for the new #HessToyTruck. I get them for #Christmas every year. #TrueCollector

Norma Rago Miller wrote how much her 4 year-old grandson loves the Hess Toy Trucks and, “Cannot wait for the TV commercials for this (year) to start, he gets so excited when he sees it.”

For this year’s 2016 commercial our Facebook fans will get a sneak preview before it airs on TV, so make sure to follow us if you want to be among the first to see it. Can’t wait for this year’s commercial? You can see snippets from each of our prior commercials by visiting hesstoytruck.com, clicking on any year of the toy truck starting with 1980, and pressing the play button on the right side of the screen.

Aug 4 (2)

Aug 5 (2)

Aug 6 (2)

Aug 7 (2)

Do you remember where you were when you first heard that Hess truck song? Be sure to share your reactions, favorite Hess Toy Truck memories, Hess history and more on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram pages. We love reading your stories and seeing your pictures about how the Hess Toy Truck – and those catchy commercials – has been a part of your family over the years. Tag @hesstoytruck so your story can be featured!