Somewhere there is an America that finds this Lexus commercial heartwarming

A new Lexus owner experiences a brief, nameless feeling that he quickly disregards.

Those of you who watched last night’s exhibition match between the New England Patriots and a children’s football team dressed as the New York Jets were reminded, maybe fifty times, of the Lexus “December to Remember” Sales Event. That the good people advertising for Lexus revive this campaign every year and still insist on calling it a “sales event” should give you an idea of how well they understand the humans. They have studied our culture and our Lexus-buying habits, and they have determined that we like two things:

1) Christmas

2) Luxury

Now remains only to combine the two. Props to Ben “Bang” Gabriel for the tip, and don’t click “More…” unless you’re ready to watch a commercial that is just opulent as shit.


So we spend the first twelve seconds disappointing a child. A father and his daughter are engaging in that statistically significant seasonal consumer behavior, shopping for a Christmas tree. The child is excited by a series of trees, each of which her father dismisses as too small. By the :10 mark, her disenchantment is palpable, and she seems to undergo a minor developmental milestone when she realizes that her father considers all trees, even the largest ones available, “too small.” By what standard does her father judge the adequacy of trees, if not the empirical? It’s moments like this that teach children how to cope with a mentally ill parent, but it passes by her father unnoticed, possibly because he is thinking about the totally normal and adequate size of his penis.

So tired

Cut to a woman in the process of executing that other traditional holiday activity, gathering up a string of Christmas lights that leads to her front door. I don’t know about you, but whenever that happens to me, I wind up the first six or seven feet before I look to see where they lead. That way I get to experience a moment of profound alienation (at right) when I realize that:

1) My husband has purchased a luxury car without first consulting me.

2) He has also cut down an 80-foot tree.

Somewhere in a conference room at Team One Advertising, there is a whiteboard that lists all of this commercial’s messages—nothing is too good for your family, make her feel special, that which satisfies ordinary people does not satisfy you, restore a sense of childlike wonder to Christmas, you can never have too much luxury—except one: fuck trees. Seriously, you guys. I didn’t buy this luxury sedan for Christmas so that I could sit in front of a farmed tree that fits inside my home like a jerk. I am a provider for my family, and everyone who sees my new car, my old-growth fir that I put in the intersection outside my house or the enormous hole in Redwood National Park is gonna know it.

Awesomely, the car in this advertisement is a Lexus HS—the hybrid model. Somewhere in their lizard brains, Lexus understands that their customers are concerned about the effect their behavior might have on the environment. And yet. At an MSRP of $35,000, the Lexus HS costs more than the annual household income of 38% of Americans. Clearly, it is not for most of us. That’s good news, since most of us are perhaps not in the mood to hear that we shouldn’t settle for anything less than the biggest and the most ostentatious this Christmas.

Then again, the .6% of us who make more than $500,000 a year are about to get a tax cut that amounts to, on average, $46,587 a year. So hell, by a nicely loaded new Lexus for the wife this year. You’ll still have a thousand bucks or so left over for tree hauling, and I heard nobody really enforces that stuff anyway.

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  1. Pretty sure he just decorated a big tree on his property, and parked the car near it. He didn’t chop anything down.

  2. That the Lexus is a Hybrid is evidence of greenwashing. How many upscale products (Starbucks, expensive clothes, shoes, etc) have “green” packaging extolling how responsible your corporate overlords are for using 25% post-consumer paper and biodegradable inks? How many are printed on undyed cardboard with an earth-tone color scheme? And how many of these products are greener than used ones? None.

    Besides, this commercial (like most aimed at men buying for women around Xmas) furthers the chauvinistic falshehood that spending your money on a nice gift is the rough equivalent of actually spending time with and loving your woman. “I slaved 60 hours a week, screwing over underlings, playing golf with execs and banging my secretary, all so I can show my love for you by buying you an extravagant gift!”

    While writing this screed, Pandora informed me that Infiniti’s version of this orgiastic celebration of overconsumption is called “Limited Engagement”. Like, your chances of her accepting your engagement may be insufficient if not accompanied by a brand-new Infiniti automobile.

  3. Clearly he cut the tree down. If the giant tree had been there all along, why would he take his daughter tree shopping at all?

  4. The target employee making me a Grande Soy Mocha was extolling the virtues of this commercial to the perm-on-top-mullet sporting lady in front of me in line today. I kid you not.

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