Wednesday, November 12, 2014

OK, now you can advertise for Christmas

The candles in the Jack-o-lanterns had barely flickered out when I was assaulted by the first Christmas commercial of the season.
It was the morning of Nov. 1 when I saw the unmistakable images of Christmas being paraded across my TV screen as some faceless corporation tried to entice me into some early Christmas shopping.
There are several reasons why it is just too darn early to run a Christmas commercial. The first and most important is I feel it is disrespectful to our veterans and soldiers.
There is always a big push of Halloween commercials in October, which makes sense, but then it is straight to Christmas commercials. If major corporations ran a commercial between Halloween and Remembrance Day honouring our veterans, that would make me want to shop there, not forcing Christmas down my throat when I still have a Halloween toffee stuck in my teeth.
There is one more very important day before Christmas, let's not forget that.
Besides will waiting until after Nov. 11 to assail me with Yule Tide advertisement really make that big of a difference to the bottom line. Besides, many people will do their Christmas shopping like they do every year – the last few days leading up to Dec. 25.
Maybe we should boycott all companies that have Christmas commercials before Nov. 12. They will likely not notice, but it will make us feel better. However, if they do notice, maybe it will send a message that honouring our soldiers is more important than trying to get us to buy the latest and greatest.
It seems every year there are more commercials barking at me to buy this and to spend money on that.
Like many old guys – hey, I am almost 50 after all – I harken back to the days of old when Christmas was not so commercialized.
Of course, my parents harkened back to their own youth and said the same thing and my children will likely do some harkening of their own and reach a very similar conclusion.
I can remember when the Sears Wish Book arrived. What a great day that was. My sisters and I would fight like mad over who got to look at the book first to leaf through the glossy pages of youthful delight. Page after page of toys would consume hours of our time.
Nowadays, my kids do all their shopping online at any time of the year so they will never enjoy the magical arrival of that amazing book.
Of course, there were Christmas commercials on TV back then, but with only two channels to choose from, our senses were not exactly over loaded with input.
Today, there are a million channels (often with nothing on worth watching) filled with more commercials than I ever thought possible. As corporate greed expands faster than their bank accounts, the urge to suck money out of as many people as possible at this time of year translates into a tsunami of advertising.
One of the big thrills as a kid was going downtown and seeing all the Christmas decorations. Although my parents never did the Santa thing, it was still fun to see him at the mall Ho-Ho-Ho-ing his way through a long line of kids.
Today, the fat man has sponsors at his temporary North Pole in the mall.
It is a sad state of affairs when even Santa Claus sells out to the almighty corporation.
But such is the world we live in – one where ad men are sitting around desperately trying to come up with the next creative way to cash in on the birth of Christ.
I am sure they will come up with something new and inventive. And I am sure people will fall all over themselves in an effort to buy whatever product they have been brainwashed into thinking they must have.
Remember Tickle Me Elmo?

Copyright 2014 Darren Handschuh

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