The 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
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- What is driving the increasingly weird behavior of the polar jet stream?
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Christians have no moral rationale for spanking their children
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Should you hope to die at 75? Absolutely not.
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- Why America should team up with Bashar al-Assad's regime
Subscribe to the Week