Thursday, March 24, 2016

"Thanks, Mom- these go great with those corrective shoes you gave me for my birthday last year!"

When I first started this blog more than seven years ago, I searched for this commercial on YouTube, but failed to find it.  At that point it was already 17 years old- but I remembered it like I had seen it yesterday because it was just so stunningly stupid.

This week, I finally found it.  And since like everyone else I did not have a blog back in 1991, and since I'm not adverse to snarking on commercials from the distant past, here it is, in all it's glorious awfulness.

This woman suddenly realizes that hey, it's Christmas and hey, she really ought to get to work buying all those people in her life- her husband, her family, and herself- some presents.  She's a little concerned about money, but especially concerned about having enough to buy herself something.  Seriously.  She's going to buy HERSELF a Christmas present.  Because that's not something she can leave to those other people.*

Suddenly she remembers that hey, those people in her family all have one thing in common- they all have bad eyesight.  Maybe they bump into things a lot or have stopped reading because the words are too blurry or are getting headaches from eyestrain.  Here's a wonderful idea for presents, and it only involves one trip to one store- "America's Best Contacts and Eyeglasses, for myself, AND my family!"

Sure, the element of surprise will be lost- she's going to have to make appointments for those kids and her husband and herself.   The element of Joy will be lost, too, as soon as her family realizes that the trip to the store for eye exams basically constitutes their freaking Christmas presents.  Happy Holidays, everybody!

In real life, is there any way this woman gets away with this?  I think that even back in 1991, eyeglasses were things that parents were kind of supposed to provide to their kids when they were needed- not as holiday presents.  What is this woman going to get her kids for their birthdays?  Braces?  Measles shots?  I mean, come on.  What the heck?

Anyway, she looks pretty happy with her "solution," and goes back to lovingly decorating the tree.  And we all kind of wish there had been a sequel in which she told her family what they were all getting for Christmas- a session of "Better Here, or Here?  Clearer Now, or Now?  Let me know when you can see the little red farm house in the distance" followed by a delightful several minutes picking out cheap frames.  And being told again and again that Yes, No Kidding, This Is Actually Your Christmas Present.  Really.  I would have loved to see that, no pun intended.

This commercial still makes me laugh, and I'm glad I got a chance to snark on it.  Better late than never.   And I bet this woman hasn't seen her kids for years, and hasn't got Clue One why that is.

*And now I suddenly understand why she sees the need to buy herself a Christmas present.  If this basic-essentials-for-Christmas bit is a regular thing with her, I don't imagine her family is all that generous in return .


  1. When are you ever going to run across the Vanish toilet bowl cleaner commercial fro the late-90s?
    "...and if you don't believe me you can ring my bell anytime and ask to smell my toilet."

  2. Oh, that one was a classic! I still remember it! Yes, a woman actually saying you could ring her bell and smell her toilet...Of course, the singing-toilet commercials for Vanish Drop-Ins were also memorable...yeesh.

    What I love about this commercial, though, is the special effects...the little 3-D snowman, candy cane, quarter, toy soldier and stack of gifts whirling around the woman's head. I can almost see the tech crew slapping each other on the back for what was no doubt considered state-of-the-art video magic for a relatively cheap TV ad back in 1991. Looks cheesy as hell today, and very entertaining.