Back in 1980, Bangor Savings Bank first aired a commercial that became an annual Christmas tradition, and on it's 40th anniversary, they are donating $10,000 to local humane societies and animal shelters.

Those who grew up in eastern Maine remember this classic commercial and look forward to seeing it every year. It debuted back when Bangor Savings Bank had yet to expand to the rest of the state, so most of us in southern Maine didn't see get the chance to see it.

Why does this ad work? Well, kittens of course!

Playing around a Christmas Tree is always going to get an "Awwww!" out of viewers. But it also worked because that's all it was. 30 or 60 seconds of kittens playing with only the logo for Bangor Savings at the end.

Just like leaving cookies and milk out for Santa, this ad became a Christmas tradition.

To celebrate the anniversary, a new retrospective video was produced, featuring the creator of the commercial and interviews with people who grew up seeing it, including our friend Dan Cashman of The Nite Showwho made his own parody of the commercial.

There's lots of behind the scenes stuff here including the names of the two kittens, "Waylon" and "Willie." Someone back in the '80s was a country music fan.

Bangor Savings Bank is also celebrating the 40th anniversary of the "Christmas Kittens" by donating $10,000 to local humane societies and animal shelters across Maine and New Hampshire that are chosen through online voting.

If you'd like to see your favorite animal shelter receive some of that cash in honor of Waylon and Willie, hit the link below to cast your vote.

You have until December 31 to enter your nomination.


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