Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts

Retailers always get a little weird around the holidays. But this seems a bit extreme.

This ad has bothered me since I first saw it, because... what is going on here?

Voiceover: "To us, the little things mean a lot. Add up all our standard features, and SafetyTech..."

As he's talking, we zoom around the car, which is driving through the snow. A helpful snowflake guides us through many of the features. Then the car pulls back up at the dealership and things get weird.

Salesman: "How was it?"
[A branch shakes for no apparent reason and dumps snow on the salesman's head.]
Girl: "We'll take it!"
Salesman: "Awesome."

Is this scene just bizarre to anyone else? Why is this kid making the family's car buying decisions? Why did that branch suddenly dump snow on the salesman, to the kid's amusement? Then it occurred to me - remember the old "It's a Good Life" episode of the Twilight Zone? This girl is the 2011 equivalent of Billy Mumy in that show. Her parents, desperate to please her, have opted to purchase an expensive new car in the hopes that she will enjoy riding in it. The salesman, standing in the cold waiting for them to return, knows that he has to keep smiling at all costs, even as she uses her telekinetic powers to drop a branch-load of snow onto his head, lest he displease her and suffer the consequences. "It's good that she made that snow fall on me," he thinks to himself, the grim specter of his doubts about this arrangement lurking in the recesses of his mind. "It's very, very good." He grits his teeth in a pained smile and tries to think nothing but happy thoughts. He knows that he's likely going to get a lowball offer for the car, but that's a good thing - nothing would make him happier! Shivering half from cold and half from fear, he stares from behind his plastered-on smile at the horrible monster who holds the whole town captive to their own thoughts and tries not to think of smashing her face into the back of the driver's headrest.

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