This post was originally published on November 18, 2009. However, this Kay ad is BACK ON THE AIR AGAIN this year, so our response is too. 12 months later, this commercial is as creepy as ever.
The holiday season is a time for reflection, love, and rampant materialism. I know this, and I expect my holiday television watching to be filled with commercials for useless items that I suddenly feel compelled to purchase for people I didn't even know I cared about. I'm never surprised to see ridiculously over-the-top ads for electronic nose hair trimmers or self-cleaning dog beds—those things are what America is all about.
HOWEVER, there is a Kay Jewelers diamond commercial airing currently that is just a bit more than this consumer can handle. Diamond commercials themselves are the worst of the holiday bunch (buy an expensive, unethical rock or you will never truly love/be loved!) but this one takes the cake by using bizarre fear tactics. Check it out:
Ahh, love's embrace. And you only had to get there by being terrified by a storm and the notion of a life of diamond-less solitude. In addition to the typical reasons why diamond commercials are terrible (hetero? check. white? check. wealthy? check. irritating? check.) this one contains dangerously high levels of fear mongering. OH NO IF YOU'RE EVER AFRAID YOU SHOULD JUST LOOK AT YOUR DIAMOND NECKLACE AND FEEL SAFE BECAUSE YOU HAVE A MAN IN YOUR LIFE. YOU KNOW HE'S THERE TO STAY BECAUSE HE FORKED OUT $1,799.99 ON THAT THING.
Of course people should feel secure in relationships, but this ad clearly (through my feminist lens, anyway) represents the threat of loneliness for single women. Instead of highlighting the good parts of the couple's relationship, it highlights the dangers of not being together (and not buying a necklace from Kay). It's a mean and scary world out there, ladies! Let's hope that you can latch on to a man and "never let go" because if you do you might be struck by lightning.
Also, how creepy is the dude? When he sidles up behind her it reminds me of the Robert De Niro character in Cape Fear.
The holiday season has only just begun and jewelry companies are already trying to frighten us into buying diamonds for our significant others (if we date women, anyway). Be afraid. Be very afraid.