Photo (cc) by MSVG
The following post comes from Stella Louise, editor of the Savings.com Blog & Save, a lifestyle blog for savvy consumers interested in personal finance, shopping advice and money saving tips and frugal living.
On the fourth Thursday of November, we gather together with friends and family to give thanks for all our blessings. And then the following day we brave crowds and craziness to buy stuff.
It’s no surprise that the holiday season has become a tug of war between peace, goodwill, giving and Black Friday stampedes, parking space battles and overspending – Charlie Brown bemoaned the crass commercialism 45 years ago in A Charlie Brown Christmas. But even the pessimistic Mr. Brown would find that today’s “season of selling” makes the aluminum trees he was faced with quaint in comparison.
Between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, it’s difficult to escape the onslaught of advertising that collectively believes you can infuse holiday cheer into just about anything if you slap on a big red bow. Witness Lexus commercials:
Mercedes and BMW are also guilty of this tactic. It boggles my mind because I’ve never known ANYONE who has given or gotten a luxury vehicle for Christmas. With Lexus models retailing for over $30k at the very least, who could afford to give this as a gift? Most people I know are more likely to get a Ford Fiesta or Honda Civic to transport them to and fro. How come you never see a commercial with a pretty blonde trophy wife tearing up at the sight of a Hyundai Accent in the driveway, huh?
You’ve gotta hand it to the Acura people, however – while the other car makers make no bones about the extravagance of a luxury vehicle as a Christmas present, Acura touts their cars as “reasonable.” Yup, that $30k car (on the low end) is actually a thrifty gift.
The jewelry stores also pound home that purchasing their wares (particularly those of the compressed carbon variety) is the ultimate gift. Yup, all females are basically putty in the hands of the males who provides them with a sparkly bauble this Christmas.
At least most diamond jewelry costs less than a Lexus …
Old Navy “modelquin” commercials creep me out no matter what time of year – but nothing says “Christmas” like the sounds of screaming, eh?
This Kenneth Cole ad promoting their wishlist application is inexplicably odd: “Be careful what you wish for.”
What’s that supposed to mean? Sounds like some sort of threat. Using a Tony Soprano-esque advertising slogan seems like an awfully strange way to attract customers.
Threats notwithstanding, at least the recipients of gifts from Kenneth Cole should be pleased with what they get. But I think we all know in most cases, a gift that is too “functional” in nature isn’t always the best bet. Your wife will not be all that thrilled with a new vacuum cleaner, your girlfriend isn’t secretly hoping for a set of snow tires. But how about the gift of wall-to-wall carpeting? Oh yeah – that’s a winner!
I’m sure somewhere out there, some retailer is hawking holiday plumbing fixtures or extolling the virtues of drywall for gift giving …
At least the folks at Target seem to be spoofing the whole madness of holiday shopping. After all, we’ve moved away from Advent calendars and the Twelve Days of Christmas to counting down to the holidays with dates such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Green Monday, and Brown Monday. Ready, get set, SHOP!
What holiday advertising has you scratching your head in confusion or recoiling in derision?