Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Retail America is giving us a new "reason for the season" this year: Inclusiveness.

I've noticed a couple of high-profile ad campaigns that feature little in the way of product promotion and plenty of social messaging instead.  The first ad was Apple's "Frankie's Holiday" that ran during the Thanksgiving Day NFL football games. 

That's the one were Frankenstein's monster comes into town to sing a non-denominational song for the townsfolk who are--of course--terrified of him because he is different than them--until a little girl helps to fix one of his colored light bulbs and sings the song with him.  Then--magically--the rest of the townsfolk realize the error of their ways and join in to make us all feel good about ourselves as the message comes on the screen "Open your heart to everyone".

Then last night I saw Microsoft's "Celebrate" ad which features a montage of people it says are "making a difference in the world". 

It shows a little girl waving a rainbow gay pride flag, a Muslim couple offering conversations and free coffee or flowers for people, an African-American girl concerned about violence marches in the streets of her neighborhood, a police officer playing basketball with citizens of color, a Pakistani woman fighting for equal rights for women, and a guy who helps rescue refugees from the ocean--all using some of the largest computer screens I have ever seen to create pictures and art work.  It ends with "When the world seems divided, coming together can be a great thing".

I guess we should be happy that Apple and Microsoft are deviating from the usual "You must spend all of your money on gifts for others or you don't actually love them" message that retailers usually blast out at this time of year.  But these ads still feature no images or music connected in any way with the Christian aspect of the holiday of Christmas.  I guess they aren't ready for that much "inclusiveness".

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