Friday, December 4, 2009

The True Spirit of Christmas

Isn't it nice to know that even in a time of 10% unemployment, two wars overseas, and general malaise and anxiety, some families still know what's really important during the holidays?

Take this commercial, for example: We see four good-looking, obviously successful siblings leaving their six digit-salary jobs and heading off to what I suppose is supposed to be the Old Homestead, a palatial mountain retreat located at the end of a winding, well-maintained road. They are driving identical 2010-model silver Cadillacs, and they've timed their exit from the big city so perfectly that they can create their own Caravan of Success as they toss glances which can only be interpreted as "Look what I've got" at each other. The commercial is accented by jump cuts to these materialistic, shallow jackanapes sitting around a table toasting eachother's bank accounts (using only the finest wine, chilled just right, I'm sure.)

Just in case we don't get the Kick-To-The-Face subtlety of the commercial's message, the narrator tells us "there's nothing like a little sibling rivalry." Ah, ok. Before you head off over hill and dale to go to grandmother's house for the holidays, you'd better make sure you show well to your parents, brothers and sisters. Because nothing says "Christmas" like a little game of "let's compare bank accounts, stock options and retirement plans" with those people you grew up with.

To make a bad commercial even worse, this mess ends with the four silver Cadillacs fanned out in the driveway of Mommy and Daddy's ranch home, the better to impress passer-bys and neighbors, I guess. I notice that in pretty much all car commercials, the cars end up parked in the most ostentatious way possible, but in this instance, the final camera shot leads me to ask three questions:

First, how long did it take to maneuver those cars into that fan shape? Why would anyone do this in real life? You pull up to a house, you get out. You don't turn the car around and back it up so that it's pointed at the road.

Second, the cars are parked so close to the door, how does anyone get in or out of the house without taking a tour of the trunk of one of them?

Third, does Cadillac really think that Christmas is all about one-upping your brothers and sisters by advertising your wealth in the most obvious way possible? I strongly suspect that if Mommy and Daddy had a four-car garage, the siblings in this film would refuse to use it- if the Cadillac is in the garage, how can they point it out to Mommy and Daddy, or stare lovingly at it from the living room window?

Can you imagine being the member of this family who owns a Prius or even (gasp) a 2009 Cadillac? Get ready for the condescending smirks and snickers from your Betters, Mr Runt of the Litter. God, I hate Cadillac.


  1. What's really annoying is that GM has learned zip from its latest brush with corproate death; it would probably take being dismantled by the Chinese to teach these people reality.

  2. I'd like to see the jolly "Repo Brothers" zip up to the artistically parked Caddies, hook them up to their jaunty tow trucks, then race off to see who can get to the impound lot first. Nothing like a little sibling rivalry!

  3. Let's hope that the siblings in this commercial decide to REALLY impress Mom and Dad by engaging in a frozen turkey-deep frying contest in the back yard. When the police are picking through the smoking crater later that afternoon, one of them will remark that we will probably never find enough DNA to determine who these people are, but judging from those cars in the driveway, they seemed to be pretty well off when they went to meet their Maker.