The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

I realize things like this shouldn't get to me, but for some reason, a commercial currently running for Kay Jewelers is bothering me.

The commercial starts with a little girl, cute as a button, running up to her dad and saying, "I want to buy this," pointing to a jewelry ad in a flyer she's holding, "for Mommy." She thrusts a little jar with some coins in it to her father and says, "This is enough, right?"

Pop says, "Of course it's enough, sweetheart!" and takes the jar. Cut away to some closeup shots of the jewelry-of-the-moment, then back to our little family: Mom is now opening up her gift, and beams in delight to see it. The kid runs up quick and declares to her mother, "And I bought it all by myself!" Cue jingle, end transmission.

So what's wrong with all that?

I'm keeping in mind that this is just another dumb commercial, whose sole purpose is to push shiny trinkets. The use of the parents and child is designed to connect the consumer with the company on an emotional level. The kid is darn cute, with her stilted delivery of her lines more endearing than anything. All duly noted.

However, consider the poor behavior on display here: In two quick instances, Dad is instilling some bad habits into young daughter. First, he lets her think that a couple of bucks' worth of change is enough money to buy a gold/silver/diamond jewelry piece, thus setting her up for future ineptness with money (figuring that Daddy can make up the difference!). Then, he shows her that it's okay to lie when he thinks it's cute that daughter tells Mom that she bought it all by herself. Way to go, Dad!

Again, I realize this is just an inconsequential commercial. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. Maybe I'm just sick of seeing it (it also ran at about this time last year--must have been particularly effective the first time around). Maybe I've just wasted several minutes in writing this post.

Maybe I'll just turn off the TV.