(Update: For those people wondering who the actress is in this commercial, she’s Jama Williamson who has a recurring guest role on Parks and Rec.)
Notice of change: The holiday is now called Bestbuymas. (Term comes from Paul in comment 289. My thanks.)
What in the world was the management of Best Buy thinking here? This offends me. It offended the hubster. It offended Beloved Daughter and her boyfriend. It offended everyone in our extended family who had to sit and watch it during an otherwise fantastic college football game Thanksgiving night. They’re actually dissing Santa Claus if you can believe it. Here…you can watch for yourself:
What strikes me as wrong?
1) The message of the commercial seems to be that Santa Claus…Mr. Spirit of Christmas himself…is now not only inferior to a retail, big box electronics store, but pathetic and unnecessary.
2) It’s like a weirdly inverted Grinch Who Stole Christmas, only this time they’ve turned Mom into the Grinch. Mom. Now that’s twisted.
3) The woman in the commercial is not only mean to Santa, she doesn’t even like her own dog enough to fill its stocking. Evidently, only those members of the family who can consume electronics merchandise count in her home.
4) Santa Claus is the mythical embodiment of generosity, tolerance, and good will to all. His gifts are free. Beating up on Santa is like beating up on charity. Who’s next in the crosshairs? Toys for Tots? And worst of all, they’re doing this during an economic downturn when one out of every five children is living in poverty and more than a third of our population is struggling on a low income. It’s tasteless.
5) They seem to be championing materialism again. Did they somehow miss the last three years?
6) They’re running these commercials during prime time when little kids are watching TV. I’m glad my kids are grown so I don’t have to explain to them both that I know you love Santa, honey. Of course, I’ll still let him come to our house.
Now don’t get me wrong here. I think Best Buy is a great company. I like their brand and our family has bought big ticket electronic items from them in the past, with no regrets. We’d go again in the future, too…but not as long as they’re running this unfortunate ad. I think they took a big risk here…which I respect, risks are necessary…but I think this time it was a big mistake. That’s how it struck our family anyway.
Anybody else have an opinion on this one? I’d be interested to hear what other people think. (And for those who enjoy this style of humor and disagree with my take on the commercial, here’s an alternative post you’ll probably prefer. Go and be happy there. I don’t think any of you are soul-less. I dislike the commercial, NOT you!)
(Update 2: And here’s a head’s up from commenter Jen: After a series of similar themed commercials, Best Buy has now come out with one that may be closer to what they wanted to convey all along. At least it seems that way to me. There’s finally at least a little give and take going on between parties, which makes it look more like a gift giving competition that Mom is trying to win rather than a situation where she’s being intentionally cruel to someone who’s trying to do some good. It sounds a little more like teasing and less like abuse. The name calling still really turns me off, but I get that it’s part of the set up for Santa’s response. I laughed at the end where she’s giggling. It’s a big step up from the usual look of contempt. Thanks Jen!)