The Most Annoying Thing About The Holidays: Lexus Commercials

You know what I hate more than anything during the Holidays? The Lexus commercials:

Hate it. And I hate that I just posted that mess on this blog so you all know what it is I'm hating.

These commercials were annoying enough back in the halcyon days of serious conspicuous consumption. Was that only two years ago? Do you remember? Back before everyone's 401(k) went to Hades, before unemployment skyrocketed, and before we began associating the word "TARP" with something other than a huge piece of waterproof canvas.

Yes, even then, these commercials were probably the MOST annoying symbol of the extremes of wealth and poverty in this country, and the very antithesis of the Christmas spirit of kindness and selflessly being of service and giving to others. I know, I know, all that's forgotten in the modern era of 10 page, single-spaced, typed in 10 point Times New Roman "Here's All The Things Santa (and you) Can Buy Me" lists.

But now that food banks are being mobbed, folks are losing their cars, homes and - as many have told me - axing Christmas presents altogether except one for each child - the idea of a $70K (or more) car as the ultimate present makes me even more disgusted. Really, have the marketing people at Lexus looked around at America lately? Even the folks who aren't getting food stamps and unemployment are toning down the purchases. There's no December to remember with a luxury car in the driveway in their futures... unless they're working on Wall Street and got the benefit of our tax dollars to pay their ridiculous bonuses.

I'm not saying folks shouldn't buy presents. I believe in presents - heck, I'm in the process of writing a little gift guide for this blog (up tomorrow, I might add!). And I do believe people have the right to spend the money they've earned however it is that they want to spend it. It's just that every year there's something about these commercials that makes me want to chuck stuff at the TV.

Is it their idea that love or Christmas spirit means buying what's basically an overpriced, souped up Toyota for your honey? Is it the annoying upperclass, Caucasian privilege aspect of it? Is it latent, unrecognized jealousy that I don't have the cash to buy myself or anybody else a Lexus?

Whatever it is, I'm determined to not watch TV for the rest of the holidays so that I can avoid these inane commercials.


I completely agree with you. We've been talking about this very thing our entire trip. When did everyone NEED a Lexus? What's wrong with being middle class?? I mean really?

We've concluded that this type of advertising is a part of the war against the middle class.
Cynthia said…
I am declaring my December to Remember as a time when all our family and friends get together to celebrate the Holiday’s, and opening that really stupid gift I might be stuck with during the white elephant gift exchange (even though I really don’t mind because the entertainment of the game was worth way more), and the long drive home in my beat up Jeep, laughing about the funny thing my niece did or how terrible my sister’s stuffing tasted. I don’t live in a 2 story Colonial style house with a Lexus in the driveway, but I don’t care because I take great pride in knowing my Debt does not own me.
Val said…
Those Lexus spots are pretentious and so much so that they're silly.

"...what's basically an overpriced, souped up Toyota..."

So true!
nick said…
The sad truth is Liz that the people who produce these ads don't give a toss about ordinary folk in dire financial straits. Their only thought is that a very expensive car will make a very big profit and some moron out there will buy one. All they want to do is find those stinking-rich morons.

I suspect a lot of hard-up Brits are pruning down their Christmas giving in the same way as your friends, though nobody's actually admitting it. Everyone's still pretending it's the same old free-spending Christmas as always.
Jen said…
The car commercials are horrible. However, the jewelry commercials are way worse! Not just buy something someone doesn't need for lots of money but buy something for someone or they won't think you love them. My partner and I faux barf every time they come on. I need a DVR-expensive present so I don't have to watch all the commercials for expensive presents!
Liz Dwyer said…
It's all about making people feel like they're "less than" if they don't have a shiny, new Lexus. Sigh, the way this economy is going, a lot of people are just happy to have a car, ANY CAR period!

I think I like your version of December MUCH more than the Lexus version. Right on!

Yes, "pretentious" is the word that was hovering just outside my subconscious. They're exactly that. And not even that cute at all!

Maybe that 1% of Americans that has 98% of the wealth in this country makes the advertising budgets for these cars worth it.

I think you're right about people "fronting" that they have the money to go about business as usual. I much prefer the honest folks who just admit they are seriously paring things back.

Yes, the jewelry commercials are vomit-inducing. No, every kiss does NOT begin with Kay. AAGH!
Nerd Girl said…
LOL! Those commercials have been airing - and annoying me - for quite a while. Every Christmas morning without fail, I race to the door of whatever home we're celebrating in and act completely shocked and crestfallen that there's no red ribboned Lexus in the driveway waiting for me.

Hey, I come from a family of easily amused people - we all crack up every year!

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