With the Valentine's holiday merely days away, it has officially become Kay Jewelers season. The diamond propaganda machine is working on overdrive to convince all of you men out there that the only thing that ever makes us gals happy is jewelry and lots of it. Every kiss, BTW, does begin with a pair of studs that conveniently fit into a piece of chocolate cake that your lady luckily doesn't bite into as most women do when handed a slice of Tiramisu but hesitantly slides her fork in to find... what... are those diamonds in my dessert?
As this is the age of bitching, one Kay commercial has gotten quite a few people into a tizzy. I will start there and then move onto my own gripe with the most recent Kay's ad that happens to be everything that is currently wrong with humanity.
Last week, Huffington post blogger Lori Holden verbally scolded the jewel giant for its commercial that highlights a successful adoption as reason to buy the wife a heart-shaped pendant. The commercial shows a couple waiting for their new baby, and to celebrate, dad gives mom a necklace. Then baby comes and yay!
Holden and slew of adoption advocates took offense to this line of advertising taking to their social media outlets to finger wag the jewelry store:
"Kay Jewelers, do you plan to design a smashed heart for the mothers who lost their babies ? This ad is extremely insensitive to all parties involved in an adoption."
"I found this commercial to portray an offensively stereotypical and unrealistic vision of modern adoption... the well-off white married couple sitting in the adoption agency, the healthy white infant, the birth parents comfortably nowhere in sight. This is not the face of adoption today."
I have not at all been through the adoption process and so I won't speak on whether this ad depreciates the process or offends those who have experienced it. I will say that as someone who went through several years of infertility, thinking about adoption as a hopeful and joyous process is a nice fantasy. Kay commercials are about happy endings; they certainly don't want to show an unsuccessful adoption where the birth mother wants her baby back after a week and the adoptees are left heart broken and empty inside as they take apart their newly purchased crib. Jane Seymour can't possible come up with an open heart representation of that scenario!
But I digress, if the commercial offends, it offends.
Now onto Kay's latest commercial that is not at all offensive; it just makes me want to punch the world repeatedly in the face.
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Guy and girl at coffee shop. Guy obviously has something special to give girl, but she won't look up from her fucking phone for one second to acknowledge that someone, someone probably very important, is sitting across from her trying to have some sort of meaningful interaction.
So, guy has an idea: I will just text her to pay attention to me, me this guy who obviously likes her well enough to spend a significant amount of cash on her.
And then she looks up and guy has a beautiful sparkling necklace for her because it's Valentine's Day, you ungrateful harlot!
Then the happy couple snap a shot of themselves on their smart phone because that's what you do when you are alive in 2014; you snap a picture of yourself and upload it to whatever your social networking site of choice is and you hashtag it with something stupid such as #ekbwk (which no one understands but you).
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I am very rarely angered by advertising, I love cheesy commercials, but something about this one has struck a chord with me. We live in a horrible world if: 1) This is the new norm for our interpersonal relationships, 2) We hang out this much in coffee shops, and 3) This type of behavior is not only OK, but rewarded with shiny, pretty.
I wrote a post two weeks back about cell phone usage and how we need a celltervention. Some of you agreed, some of you didn't and some of you complained about something completely irrelevant, as you are wont to do. After watching this commercial, however, that a team of marketers most certainly brainstormed and pitched and compiled data about and then convinced Kay to spend big bucks to produce and buy expensive television advertising time, I am fully convinced that society is going down the tubes.
This is what advertisers think of us, people. They think that our attention spans are solely tied to our text messaging devices to the extreme level that we identify with a woman who can't be bothered to look up for two seconds when her boyfriend calls her name. Do you want to be that person? I know that I don't.
This Valentine's Day I am breaking up with my phone and making a date with myself, my good friends or my significant other cut free from tethers of the cell phone umbilical chord; I never want to be like either of the people in this commercial, nor do I want anyone to ever text me across a small coffee shop table... unless it's to make fun of someone else at the table with us.