Effectively, the entire campaign is about how being a total dick to a guy who just wants to give you free stuff is somehow justifiable. That's not cool guys, that's not cool at all. In all of these ads, Santa is portrayed as just being a nice guy, who is then bullied by the Best Buy customer. Are we supposed to relate to the customer in these ads? Because if we are, then I think they've incredibly misjudged how much I want to be thought of as a total douche. I always end up identifying with the nice guy in any story - who in this case is Santa - and it makes me just angry when I see the guy mistreated.
When you pick on a sympathetic character, it's not funny - it's mean. There's another undercurrent going on here though, one that makes me feel equally queasy...
...all the people being jerks are white, middle class women.
Now, I get the middle class bit -- Best Buy is advertising electronics, and they are expensive items which require enough income to afford them. But the rest? Why is this line of ads (of which I know there are at least five or six variations) featuring exclusively white women?
For the life of me I've been trying to figure out what this is actually trying to say. Is this playing into the stereotype that women do all the Holiday shopping? Because in my family I know that's bunk. Is it playing with the negative image we have of "Soccer Moms?" Because that just feels misogynist. I seriously, for the life of me, can't figure out why this specific choice was made. I'm far from qualified to actually examine everything it seems to suggest, but... yeah.
So, as a person who over the years gave a lot of money to Best Buy (and three years of my life as an employee there in my early twenties), I can honestly say this line of ads guaranteed I did ALL of my Holiday shopping at other stores this year.
I agree, I almost feel bad for these women. They clearly are displaying these women who have a serious problem. I also thought Targets series of black Friday ads featuring women obsessed with shopping it was a bit along the same lines with women who are portrayed as being insecure and obssesed with shopping and one uping every one. Why is this stereo type becoming so common in tv ads? I'm surprised I haven't heard more complaint by certain women's organizations for this portrayal of women as being shallow and needing to one up every one.
Well this just goes to show you that this retailer is doing poorly..and well I've dealt with people like this on a daily basis (4 today alone). I'm very, very tired of the craziness this holiday bring out in people. I think next year I'll crawl into a hole for the entire month and eat chocolate...