Monday, November 27, 2006
'Tis the season to be bothered.
Fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra.
The movie is “A Christmas Story,” in which the humorist Jean Shepherd offers a rueful look back at his boyhood, circa 1940. The film presents the comic misadventures of Ralphie Parker, whose most fervent wish — nay, obsession — is to receive an “official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle” as a Christmas gift from his parents.
“A Christmas Story” was no huge success when it came out in 1983. Some were put off by its wry, even sardonic tone, so at odds with traditional holiday fare.
But in the last decade, the film has become as much a part of Christmas as “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” and jokes about fruitcake. A big reason is the annual marathon showing by the TBS cable network, which starts each Christmas Eve; in 24 hours, the movie is shown a dozen times in a row.
In 2003, Macy’s, which figures centrally in “Miracle on 34th Street,” saluted “A Christmas Story” in a holiday window of its flagship store in Herald Square. This year in particular, advertisers and agencies are demonstrating how much the movie inspires them.
A commercial for Cingular Wireless by the Atlanta office of BBDO Worldwide, part of the Omnicom Group, recreates the central narrative of the film in 30 seconds, replacing the BB gun that Ralphie desires with a cellphone.
Adults in the movie discourage Ralphie from insisting on the air rifle by declaring, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” In the commercial, the refrain becomes, “You’ll run the bill up.” A happy ending ensues when Ralphie’s parents buy him a prepaid Cingular cellphone, the GoPhone.
And via Eszter's Blog, here is a list of ten retail scams -- except that it's a list of two retail scams (and who among us hasn't heard of the "bait and switch") and an invitation to spend $8.00 to find out more. Since I'm all about the holiday cheer, I'll say that it's nice to see American ingenuity both keeping pace with the 419 crowd and not filling my inbox with spam.
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