Holiday Cheer & Commercials
December 14, 2003
I love Christmas so much. Am such a dork, really. I love decorating the tree, putting up lights, non-mall-parking-lot-shopping, trying to get other people to bake cookies for me, TNT's all-day marathon of A Christmas Story, and of course, presents. And then two days later, birthday presents!
And then it's all over for me, for a whole year. Boo. Poor, poor Christmas baby.
So in the spirit of over-compensation, I milk the entire month of December for all it's worth. So who am I to complain about holiday commercialism?
A girl with a blog and a deep-rooted need to complain, that's who.
There are certain holiday commercials that show up every freaking year and They Must Be Destroyed. They're the "you-know-it's-Christmas-when..." in the worst possible way. Like, I kinda look forward to the Staples Back-To-School commercial with the dad prancing around the store to "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" (now that the back-to-school season no longer applies to me, anyway). And I accept the inevitable increase in ads for electric razors and lottery tickets (seriously? people give those? lame!).
But then there's the Body Fantasies ads. These commercials get heavy rotation every December (in fact I'm not sure I've ever seen them anytime else), and they are So Bad. There are at least three of them, one for the ladies and two for the men. Or vice versa. I can't really tell who the hell would watch these and think that drugstore-level fruity-smelling body sprays are the perfect holiday gift. The one for the ladies' spray is going for a sensitive-yet-highly-sexual-earth-mother thing. Gentle water imagery, flowers and implied vaginas, typical crap. PSA to Men: Women don't want this stuff. Go to Bath & Body Works, The Body Shop or Sephora. Spend money, get laid.
Then there are two for the Bod Men (Man?) spin-off product. "Nice Bod! Great Bod! I want your Bod!" a female groans over strictly homoerotic footage of shirtless sweaty men playing basketball or shirtless sweaty men playing guitars. Thumping techno manly beats. Nice Bod? Seriously, even with the recent 80s revival, that phrase is NOT making a comeback. Neither is the totally gnarly crimped hair the girl groupie is sporting in the men-playing-guitars variation.
So while the Body Fantasies ads are going for cool and failing miserably, the cha-cha-cha-Chia Pet ads are camp and know they're camp, but I'm still sick of them. Everyone knows that Chia pets are like, the worst gift ever to anyone outside of dissaffected high school students who are looking for a super-cheap gift but want one that at least has some irony or kitsch-factor to it.
The Chia herb garden is kinda cool, but lately I can't watch the commercial without thinking that the ad was filmed so long ago, the kindly Grandma in it is probably dead. And the kids in the basic Chia Pet ad are really homely trolls in sherbert-colored sweaters. And doesn't it seem like every year they try to hype the same "new" design--the Chia Head or the Chia Tweety Bird? (Oh, I stand corrected. This year's new design is the Scooby-Doo head, hot on the heels of the moderately successful blockbuster of 2002.)
I guess Chia Pet still doesn't land the lucrative movie tie-in deals. Though I'm surprised they didn't get The Cat in the Hat...they're whoring Dr. Suess out to any cheap product that sat still this year. Mops, cereal, Burger King ornaments, Oreos, enemas, you name it.
The last commercials that must go away are the Lexus commercials. You know the ones--strictly nuclear yet properly multicultural rich people surprise each other with bow-topped luxury cars. Oh, consumerism! Debt! Extended financing! You shouldn't have! I always lose it when the parents give one to their daughter. That's just so wrong. And yet I wonder, if I did decide to buy Jason a Lexus this year, would the dealership really give me a big red bow? Cuz that's a good deal right there.
If anybody doesn't know what to get me, just put the big red bow on a big box of money. Two days later, repeat.