Friday, November 26, 2010

Yet Another Bank Commercial That Pisses Me Off

Does this commercial piss off anybody else besides me?

Here we have an average blue-collar worker (notice the clean suit and tie) with a decent job (notice how he has an overseas business "colleague" that sends him surprise gifts, and not a co-worker that drew his name in a Secret Santa pool with a $10 limit) that apparently pays well (notice the clean and modern kitchen of what appears to be an expensive city apartment) that receives two unexpected surprises: A rare and popular toy from a Japanese "colleague," and a $1000 prize from entering in a contest by activating a Citibank credit card.

Now, the intended sentimental holiday message is supposed to be about an ordinary guy who is inspired to give a valuable toy away to charity by the generosity of his credit card's financial institution. All I can see, however, is the story a greedy corporate douche who receives a gift that turns out to be quite valuable, and so immediately begins fantasizing about all of the money he can make by auctioning off a children's toy to the high bidder online for a boatload of cash that he doesn't appear to be hurting for.

But then he wins $1000 dollars in an advertising scheme designed to convince economically inexperienced individuals to unwittingly enslave themselves to a financial institution at 20% APR for the rest of their natural lives with the promise of fabulous cash prizes to be won. So, now that he has lucked into a chunk of unearned excess income already, he decides to donate to charity, not out of the kindness of his heart or the eagerness to do good, but because now it has become exceedingly convenient for him to do so. Then, instead of donating the $1000 to a charitable organization dedicated to housing and feeding the homeless, he takes the valuable toy that didn't cost him a dime, and will be worthless in six months anyway, and drops it in the nearest toy-drive bin.

A bank attempts to sell memberships to their credit-cards with the false promise of easy money by disguising it as a demonstration of the desire to do good to others by donating to charity, and they still can't manage to make it any less shallow than some greedy prick who only considers being charitable when it becomes extraordinarily convenient and manages to not cost him a penny.

This commercial is the perfect example of:

a) How screwed up we are as a nation and a culture, and
b) Why I shouldn't be watching any television this holiday season.
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