he video: A 15-second Target Halloween commercial has gone viral (garnering over 125,000 views on YouTube), and angered quite a few parents along the way. (View the clip below.) The polarizing ad features a little boy dressed in a homemade, predominantly cardboard Iron Man costume that falls apart just as his mother grabs a camera to immortalize her handiwork. The ad then cuts from this image of maternal incompetence to a gleaming, prefabricated Iron Man costume, available at Target.
The reaction: This piece of propaganda is "crassly offensive," "snide," and misguided from a marketing standpoint, says Tom Scocca at Slate. It does nothing but "teach children that they should be consuming identical mass-produced products whenever possible." As well as irking the entire Maker movement, says Jonathan Liu in Wired, Target seems to have forgotten that the original Iron Man suit "was homemade too." I don't know, says Teresa Mears at MSN Money. "Sometimes a commercial is just a commercial," and this one made me laugh. Watch if for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- Why is American internet so slow?
- Why states should stop limiting the alcohol content in your beer
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- 10 things you need to know today: March 8, 2014
Subscribe to the Week