Saturday, February 14, 2009

Demeaning to both men and women, and it comes from my home state, no less

Pretty much the only time I ever see a commercial for Vermont Teddy Bears is right before Valentine's Day (they are like the electric razors of that phony holiday.) Considering that the Vermont Teddy Bear company operates in a very narrow window of opportunity you'd think they'd put more thought into their commercials, but no- they have all the wit and elegance of your typical EZ-Cash-Stop ad.

So here's how it goes- an office full of beautiful women in cubicles is interrupted by a delivery man toting a Vermont Teddy Bear. The lucky recipient naturally goes all to pieces over the wrapped ball of fluff with plastic eyes her boyfriend gave her- it's shaped and dressed like a bandit (or a raccoon or something) and she reads the card- "I'm giving you this bandit bear because you've stolen my heart" (or some such sludge stolen from the inside of a fifty-cent Hallmark card.) The girls around her squeal and moan with jealousy. "It's bigger than I expected!" the recipient shrieks- so she knew she was going to get this bear? Or does she just need to insert the proper sexual innuendo here? "Bigger than I expected'- Get it? GET IT?

The males of the office pop their heads out of their cubicles on cue, like prairie dogs checking to see if the coast is clear. And just in case they didn't get the message, one of the girls whines "I wish someone would get ME something like this!" And now it's off to the web, it's out with the cell phones, and in no time at all every guy in this office is forking over big bucks ordering his own ball of fuzz from Vermont, certain to be the key to her heart as well as her more accessible body parts. One guy even licks his lips thinking how much the girl is going to enjoy her bear....ugh.

Here are the two biggest problems I have with this ad:

1. On what day does the girl in the ad receive her bear? Valentine's Day 2009 falls on a Saturday. It's pretty safe to assume that she's getting this bear on Friday afternoon, the last day of the work week, the day before Valentine's Day. That being the case, it's TOO DAMNED LATE for any of the other guys to pull the same stunt and get their would-be loved ones teddy bears delivered to their cubicles. At best, they are going to pay outrageous overnight delivery fees to have the bears dumped at the girl's house on Saturday. The girl will NOT be the object of envy in the office. If she has half a brain, she'll see the last-minute gift for what it is; the product of desperation born of cluelessness.

2. Even if it's early in the week, say, four days before Valentine's Day, it's STILL too late for these guys to order bears for other girls in the office because it's been done and it's not special anymore. The girl who gets a Vermont Teddy Bear two or three days later is going to KNOW that you just plagiarized the first guy's idea, which is almost as lame as not getting the girl anything at all.

The only chance these idiot guys have is that the girls they are after don't work in this office- and that is not the impression we are given in the commercial. At any rate, if your loved one is really bowled over by a teddy bear, maybe you should rethink your whole "date girls with the mentality of eight-year olds" strategy. I have never met a woman who would prefer a toy to jewelry, dinner and a movie. A girl, sure. A woman? No.

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