I’m back, guys! Today I will be analyzing Apple’s iPad Mini. I feel a little hypocritical about this post since I’m writing it on a MacBook, but don’t judge me too harshly because it’s the first and only Apple product I own.

iPad mini

Intended Message: It’s the iPad, but smaller and cheaper!

Perceived Message: It’s completely unnecessary to buy, but you’ll buy it anyway.

Here’s one of the first iPad mini commercials: Heart and Soul (click to view video)

I understand what Apple is trying to do by shoving out a mini version of their already successful, yet expensive, product. Because it’s smaller, it’s cheaper, and for that reason, you pitiful poorer consumers out there will be able to purchase one. But hey, we’ll spend all of our advertising dollars proving that it’s “every inch an iPad.” Honestly though, when Apple’s “cheaper” product is still $329, I doubt they’re going to do any better at reaching those lower-income individuals.

Collect them all!

Collect them all!

Going back to their “every inch an iPad” slogan, you never see an iPad mini without its larger iPad cousin, retailing around $500. But wait. If you already own that giant iPad like in the commercials, why spend all that money to buy another, smaller iPad? I guess Apple is once again assuming that since you paid for the regular iPad, of course you have the money to blow on another one!

As a side note, with the money you spent on your two iPads, you could have bought an actual baby grand piano with (gasps) actual keys! If you have the skill to play an actual piano, the only reason to play the piano on an iPad would be to appear pretentious in front of your friends (or doubly pretentious if you have someone accompanying you on their iPad mini).

A Piano? What magical invention is this?

A Piano? What magical invention is this?

So now that we’ve established that no one’s going to buy an iPad mini solely because of its decreased cost (cost is always absent from Apple commercials, if you haven’t noticed), you’d still buy it because it’s more portable right? Nope. It still doesn’t fit in your pocket. I’m guessing with phones growing larger and larger and tablets growing smaller and smaller, in the near future we may have a single device that no one is quite sure what to call.

Here’s another commercial for your view pleasure: I’ll Be Home (click to view video)

So according to Apple’s holiday commercial, by getting your 10-year-old an iPad mini for her stocking stuffer, she’ll be a wonderful ukulele player who warms the heart of her kind, unassuming grandfather (who also owns an iPad). Everyone can smile because they have such a perfect family who will be chatting with each other for hours afterwards instead of glued to their screen playing Angry Birds. Isn’t that sweet? (Gags) And it’s all because of the magic of Apple products. I mean, video chat is an iPad exclusive feature, right?

You already are home for Christmas.

You already are home for Christmas.

Now that I think about it, either someone is wiretapping, or both the girl and her grandfather are right next to each other staring at their iPads on the blank white wall. I mean, video chat is meant to transmit what’s in front of the camera, right?

Well that’s it for this week folks. Now go back to playing Temple Run.

Today, I will be analyzing two of One Direction’s most popular songs. Once again, I’m not an expert. In fact, I hadn’t even heard a song by One Direction until two months ago. Shows you how much I know.

First, What Makes You Beautiful. Click here to view video.

Intended Message: A beautiful girl feels insecure about her looks, and One Direction wants her to know how truly gorgeous she is. However, what makes her truly beautiful is that she’s humble and hasn’t grown conceited over her looks.

Perceived Message: I wouldn’t mind this song if the music video didn’t contradict every single lyric.

First of all, if they’re telling the girl, “You don’t know you’re beautiful,” you’d expect the girl to display this attributed humility, right? She’d be shy, blushing, and almost feel uncomfortable to have five famous young men serenading her, right? Ha! You who are oh so foolish.

According to One Direction, this humble girl of theirs is sitting in the back seat of the convertible by herself, wearing a revealing dress, hands in the air, laughing while her friends try to concentrate and drive the car. When she loses her hat, she just keeps laughing. Daddy will buy her a new one. Amidst all her hair flips and laughs at the camera (not at the ground, like the song says), I arrived at a conclusion. This girl is not humble.

“I put my hands up, they’re playin’ my song…”

Another thing. The boys are driving a bus, and when one is driving a bus with at least eight passenger seats (right now we’re talking at least eight people with the 5 guys plus the 3 girls), states require him or her to be at least 21. As of now, none of these blokes is 21.

Those joyriding hooligans.

The next problem is the line, “Everyone else in the room can see it.” I’m sorry, One Direction, you are not in a room. You are on a beach. If you meant to say, “Everyone else on the beach can see it,” then you are limiting the recognition of her beauty to you and your 4 other singer-type friends. In which case, you should be extra careful. Everyone’s singing about how they want the same girl “so desperately” (her two friends are irrelevant). This competition could get bloody pretty quickly.

Also, apparently putting something to song automatically proves it to be true, hence the lyrics, “To prove I’m right I put it in a song.” Imagine the implications of this in the following parody of the chorus by yours truly.

“Baby, you’re made out of wood and float like a duck,
We’ll surely send you our prayers and wish you good luck,
But if you’re really a witch, you can’t just run amuck
Your trial will go oh oh
Go just like the Crucible!”

According to One Direction’s logic, I just provided more reliable evidence to burn witches than John Proctor ever could.

Finally, if the girl’s beautiful just because she doesn’t know she’s beautiful, why on earth would they want to tell her that she’s beautiful? They’d ruin everything!

Next, Live While We’re Young. Click here to view video.

Intended Message: We’re mature enough for sex! #YOLO!

Perceived Message: We’re not mature enough for sex, but #YOLO!

If you’re trying as desperately as they are to prove that you’re mature enough for sex, don’t be playing with squirt guns and splashing around with giant inflatable bananas in the kiddie pool.

Not suggestive at all.

Seriously though, If this song isn’t the biggest wolf in sheep’s clothing I’ve ever heard. A song meant for the teen girls, the video at least is very PG. There’s no cussing, no nudity, no drugs, so it must be perfectly harmless, right? Alas, ‘tis not so.

Not only are these five guys encouraging their audience to have sex as soon as possible for no reason other than #YOLO, but they constantly admit that the relationship they’re pursuing is not about love.

I once heard a sermon where the speaker dissected the phrase, “(comma) but God…” referencing how scripture frequently recounts how mankind screwed up, “but God” redeemed it. For example, Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)”

My point here is to say One Direction has replaced “But God” with “But #YOLO.” In fact, the group lists all the reasons why they shouldn’t have sex, “but #YOLO” makes it okay. To name a few, “we just met but let’s pretend it’s love, and never never never stop for anyone,” “it’s now or never, don’t overthink it, just let it go.”

So… they’re admitting it’s not love, encouraging the girl to put aside her better judgment, and threatening to never give her a second chance if she decides to wait. Gotta love these guys as role models for love.

Finally, if one of the chaps from One Direction actually did manage to seduce the girl, the other guys sharing the tent would have had a very awkward night.

Co-Ed Camping!

Well that’s all for this week, folks. Thanks for sticking with me for the past seven weeks. Check in next week for more cheeky analysis.

Today I will be analyzing important life lessons that awful movies and television shows unintentionally taught me.

First, Spider-Man 3.

Official Synopsis: A strange black entity from another world bonds with Peter Parker and causes inner turmoil as he contends with new villains, temptations, and revenge.

Lessons Learned: Many people blame the strutting emo Peter Parker scene and convoluted plot structure for what made this film come off so flat. I would disagree. Instead, I would suggest that the film fundamentally fails because it traces all of Peter’s actions back to this evil alien slime of doom from outer space. They are not a result of his own deep-rooted faults. Everything that goes wrong is because “the aliens made him do it.”

Aliens

Where is the opportunity for true growth as a character if the character’s doing just fine until the slime takes control? The most recent Narnia film, Voyage of the Dawn Treader suffers from the same problem. It’s that darn green mist that causes Caspian and Edmund to fight, not their lingering sin nature and character flaws.

All this is to make the point that we so readily blame our own fallenness and need for redemption on some external force. Rather than face the issue and resolve it, we point fingers. And for those who point fingers, this guy has a few words to say to you. Click to view video (starts at 0:38).

Here is where I will contradict myself. The movie does show that Peter has faults outside of those caused by the slime, however they aren’t aggression and emo haircuts. Instead, they are the smug way he interacts with people, his sense of entitlement, and the belief that he is invulnerable.

Regardless of how well or poorly these scenes were written, when Peter Parker doesn’t care about MJ’s struggles, fails in proposing to her, and kisses Gwen in front of everyone, the film clearly communicated to me that when everything appears to be going swell, that’s when we should be the most careful.

I often struggle with believing that the goal in life is to have “arrived” and have all of my life figured out. Popularity/loved by Everyone? Check! Hot girlfriend? Check! In a dream job? Check! I’m obviously now immune from having to face any struggles ever again for the rest of my life.

So when I do feel like things are going well, Spider-Man 3 taught me to “check yourself before you wreck yourself.” Believing ourselves to be invulnerable can hurt those around us more than we know. Peter slapped his girlfriend in public for crying out loud.

Fabulous

One final take away is that difficulties in life are a blessing in disguise. Peter in Spider-Man 2 could honestly say that his life wasn’t too great, but he had people he genuinely cared about who cared about him. This kept him straight and shaped him as a person more than he could see at the time.

Next, the Naked Brothers Band.

Official Synopsis: The Naked Brothers Band is an American musical comedy series created by Polly Draper. The show depicts the daily lives of Draper’s sons, who lead a fictional world-renowned rock band from New York City.

Lessons Learned: This show was quite possibly the bane of my existence for its short run on air. Following a made-for-TV movie that was equally as awful, the show chronicles Nat and Alex Wolff’s lives as “””Rock Stars.””” I had to use multiple quotes because it is a term I’m sure the stars and only the stars of the show would refer to themselves as. Much to my chagrin, the show’s debut saw Nickelodeon experiencing its highest ratings in seven years.

The premise of the show is innocent enough. Nat and Alex, while not the most talented, are not trying to rival Rebecca Black. What really gets me about this show is the size of the kids’ egos. We’re talking planet-sized here. Going for a faux-reality show style only comparable to Jersey Shore, the two stars use every opportunity they can to capitalize on drama.

If the kids were in their late teens, although still rather unbearable, the drama would come across as at least slightly believable. However, the problem is that Nat was only 12 and Alex only 9 when the series premiered. Yet, despite their age, they seem to have bought into the same lie that our pal Peter Parker did that they had “arrived” and the world belonged to them. Such self-misconceptions ooze throughout their songwriting.

“Been there, rocked that.”

This is what made the show so exceptionally irksome. These prepubescent kids were creating drama for themselves. This drama stemmed from their own immaturity, and yet their ego told them that they were mature enough and famous enough to deal with it.

Nat’s love interest Rosalina, who happens to be two years older than him, has got Nat in the friendzone. So much of the shows drama stems from this one point, and it is reinforced over and over again how immature Nat really is in how he treats her. She is the one thing standing in his way from “arriving.” The kids viewing the show are going to see someone their age facing relationship drama in a fictional setting and wrongly feel equipped to do the same.

My point here is that so much drama in our lives could be avoided if we were mature enough to accept that we don’t need to deal with it. When in the heat of the moment, every situation seems like either the end of the world or the last step necessary to “arrive.” The circumstances may be exaggerated in the show, but the same issue still applies.

I just watched “the walk” K-Mart commercial.

The best thing we can do for ourselves is to step back from the drama we’ve created, honestly ask ourselves if the drama is necessary at our current level of maturity, and determine what the best way to diffuse it is. Giant explosive confrontation might make great television (or subpar in this case), but can be incredibly damaging and hurtful in real-life.

So that’s all for this week, sorry for skipping one. I’m going to try and keep these blogs on a regular basis. If you happen to have an idea for something you want me to analyze, feel free to leave a comment or zip me an email. They’re always much appreciated.

Today I will be analyzing two great ideas I had for products.

Idea #1:

Everything in a modern restroom is automated. The flushing is automatic, the water faucet is automatic, and the hand dryer is automatic. My church back home even has to place a sign in front of the manual flush urinals to alert the user that they are not automatic. Great isn’t it? Your hands don’t have to touch a single unsanitary thing in the dirty public restroom. That is, until you reach the door.

What are these handles doing here?

Yes, at the door all your careful methods to observe cleanliness are proved useless and you must make contact with the disgusting door handle touched by hundreds of filthy little hands throughout the day. Some people recommend using paper towel as a barrier between your hand and the door handle, and then tossing the paper towel into a nearby trash receptacle. But honestly, what if you aren’t Michael Jordan and your shot misses the basket? What if there is no paper towel and only hand driers?

The good news is that you don’t have to experience this frustration and have your face flushed red. That’s where my product comes in: Automatic restroom doors. They are the way of the future. Think about it. There are plenty of other areas where automatic doors are used, why not in a restroom?

Idea #2:

We’ve all experienced it before. Walking from outside into a room where the A/C is either broken or cranked way too high. How can we plan for both the temperatures outside inside? Sure, there’s the tried and true way of wearing a sweatshirt and then taking it off when not necessary, but what if you forget to bring a sweatshirt? What if you take it off and then accidentally leave it behind in the classroom? What if I asked you more rhetorical questions?

The answer to all of these questions (even the third one) is transitions clothing. You’ve heard of transitions lenses that change from glasses to sunglasses based on the intensity of the lighting. So why not apply the same concept to clothing?

She transforms into the chosen one.

Picture this, fabric with fibers that expand and contract based on the temperature of its environment. If it were warm in a particular area, the threads would expand and grow apart, hugging you less tightly, and allowing more cool air to reach you. For a cool environment, the threads would contract together and provide a more snug experience.

Why can’t I have transitions clothing?

You could even implement the heated leather concept found in luxury cars to warm the wearer or have tiny little fans inside to cool him or her. The possibilities are endless when you ignore practicality! SCIENCE!

So a little bit shorter of a post this week, but that doesn’t mean the ideas are running dry. Check back next week for even more magical commentary.

Today I will be analyzing some of the worst products I’ve ever had the displeasure of possessing.

First, Sweet Tarts chews.

Intended Message: It’s the latest product from Wonka! It’s SweetTarts, but they’re chewy!

Perceived Message: I had a little bit of difficulty finding an image of this product because the product was later redesigned and renamed not long after it’s release. Hopefully that gives you an idea about why this product was such a blunder.

It was a my sophomore high school English class, and we each were required to give a presentation on a certain chapter of the book Les Miserables. It was well established that bringing in food for your project made it much more enjoyable to the students than possessing even the finest of oratory skills. The presenter chose to hand these “treats” out as “rewards” for the little trivia game he held over the events of his chapter. I was rather underwhelmed.

To be fair here, SweetTarts chews don’t taste that bad. In fact, they taste a lot like Laffy Taffy. Okay, so they taste and look exactly like Laffy Taffy. So what’s my issue here? I mean, Wonka’s only fault can be copying another company’s product in order to compete with them, and lots of knock-off companies are guilty of that.

The issue is that Wonka makes Laffy Taffy. So yes, dear reader, Wonka got the brilliant idea to produce a knock-off product of one of its own products.

Laffy Taffy at least has cringeworthy jokes to make it worthwhile.

Fortunately, Wonka realized its error and, as I stated previously, redesigned the product so that the product at least no longer looks like Laffy Taffy and instead looks like chewable SweetTarts. Nice save there, Wonka.

Next, movie storybooks based off movies based off books.

The Chronicles of Narnia

Intended Message: Did you love the movie? Here’s a great way to help remember the story in a simple, easy to digest storybook!

Perceived Message: How about instead of “Did you love the movie? Give the filmmakers more money!” we say “Did you love the movie? Read the actual book!”

Honestly. Is our culture that much opposed to taking a little extra time to read a chapter book that we have to produce an incredibly simplified version of the movie the book was based on? The worst offense of these books is that they’re nothing more than shameless marketing techniques for the movies, trying to draw in younger viewers.

Having read both The Chronicles of Narnia movie storybook as well as the Prince of Egypt movie storybook, I find it incredibly amusing how blatantly ambiguous the language they use is to desperately try to cover up the Christian/Jewish themes present in the source material, and to a lesser extent, even the movies. Obviously, alluding to these themes would limit the potential audience for the movie storybooks, rile some secular parents into a frenzy from the horror that their child was reading something religious, and decrease revenue for the movies. The question I have to ask is if you, as a filmmaker, are that opposed to the themes in the source material, why did you choose to produce it in the first place?

Now, Unfrosted Mini-Wheats.

Now with extra bland!

Intended Message: It’s the Mini-Wheats you love without the extra sugar!

Perceived Message: They taste like a bundle of sand, wrapped in tissue paper, eaten and then regurgitated by a horse with a rotten front tooth, then placed in a box for your breakfast pleasure. When you take a bite, you feel like it takes twice as long to chew and swallow as a piece of Laffy Taffy SweetTarts chews. Honestly, the taste is so horrid and it takes so long to chew, that you’ll be fearful of ever being able to swallow in time to choose another cereal.

Yes. The frosting makes that much of a difference.

Also, it didn’t come with the raspberries it showed me on the box. 😦

Finally, the Wonder Ball. (Click for a Wonder Ball commercial)

Intended Message: It’s a hollow chocolate ball with a prize inside. What could go wrong?

Perceived Message: I used to think these things were the shizz when I was 8. The marketing campaign behind these was especially effective at making me think that I needed to dump my allowance each week on a hollow ball of chocolate with a prize inside that, if I didn’t choke on it, I’d lose it on my way home from the grocery store.

Obviously, the choking hazard was a legitimate issue that Nestle had to address. So instead of recalling the product entirely, it replaced the mini, plastic toys with stickers and hard candy. I was devastated. In my mind, stickers were completely and in all ways inferior to the cheap plastic toys, and I hated hard candy. Where could I blow my allowance now? Drugs? Claw-machines?

What left me with an even worst taste in my mouth for this product was my final experience buying one. I remember going to the pharmacy with my dad and discovering a huge stack of Wonder Balls near some of the other candies. While my dad made his purchases, the incredibly catchy theme song rang ceaselessly through my mind. I couldn’t help but satisfy my wonder behind what was in one of the Wonder Balls. Maybe Nestle had repented of their unthinkable decision to switch the plastic prize to candy and stickers. Maybe! But I wouldn’t want to spend my allowance on a Wonder Ball if there weren’t a plastic toy inside. This was the pinnacle of all 8-year-old dilemmas.

So what did I do? I opened up the box, gently worked back the foil surrounding the chocolate, punched a hole in the shell of the ball and peered inside to see if I could make out a plastic toy. I couldn’t, so I was about to put the Wonder Ball back on the shelf, when my dad returned and caught me in the act. He told me plainly that I was going to pay for the Wonder Ball and explain what I did to the minimum wage cashier. Weeping and crying, I pulled myself up, stumbled over to the counter, handed my dollar bill to the cashier, and confessed my sin amidst many tears.

My favorite treat had betrayed me. I never bought a Wonder Ball again.

So that’s all for this week folks. I know what you’re thinking. “But if these products are all so awful, then what makes a good product?” Well I’m glad you asked. Be sure to stayed tuned a week from today when I reveal several of my one-of-a-kind, million dollar ideas for products that have not yet been invented. You won’t want to miss it.

Today I will be analyzing 3 of Taylor Swift’s most famous songs. As a disclaimer, I do not claim to be an expert on Taylor Swift. This analysis is based solely on the lyrics and the videos.

First, Love Story. (Click link to view video)

Juliet searches for her Romeo.

Intended Message: The story of our love is beautiful, just like the classic old stories we were told as kids. We’ve overcome hardships and challenges, only further reaffirming that our love is the real deal.

Perceived Message: Let me start off this blog by asking, out of all the great love stories in literature, why did Taylor Swift choose one in which the two main characters commit suicide? It’s funny that this little major detail from the original text didn’t make it into the song.

In the opening verse, are the lines, “I close my eyes and the flashback starts.” Note that Swift doesn’t say imaginative fantasizing of our relationship, she says flashback.  Given the several century gap between the modern school campus framing device and the fancy castles, one can conclude that either Swift and her beau met at a dress up party or are immortal vampires that have been in love through the centuries. In that case, perhaps a better comparison for their love story would be the Twilight series, not Romeo and Juliet.

Anyway, we can infer that Swift’s parents are initially very skeptical of this relationship. Hence the lyrics, “They try to tell me how to feel” and “my daddy said stay away from Juliet.” So what advice can we gleam from this song? If those older and wiser than you don’t approve of the relationship, it doesn’t matter! As long as you feel that it’s real, don’t listen to anyone!

Also, Romeo and Juliet were not a prince and princess.

Next, Mean. (Click link to view video)

Taylor strumming (not plucking) a banjo.

Intended Message: Bullies may put you down, but someday, you’ll have all your dreams come true, and they’ll still just be bullies. Taylor Swift knows because critical people keep bringing her down, but she still succeeds.

Perceived Message: I did some research and found that Swift specifically is directing this song towards Bob Lefsetz, a critic who pointed out several flaws with Swift’s performance 52nd Grammy Awards in his blog. His criticism, according to Swift, was not professional and was downright mean, hence the name of the song.

What a cruel man! How dare he criticize a celebrity!? Pointing out the flaws of someone spending their life in the spotlight. Despicable.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not encouraging damaging someone’s reputation just because you can. In fact, I commend Swift for standing up for the bullied. What gets me though is that she’s fed up of people calling her names, so she does the mature thing and calls those critics, “mean, and a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life.” Way to turn the other cheek there, Taylor!

Another thing, throughout most of the video, Swift is singing about what it’s going to be like when she lives in “a big ol’ city.” Then at the end, she’s made it big, she’s in that big ol’ city, and playing for an audience of… one little girl. That’ll show those critics who said you’d never amount to anything who’s boss!

I should probably stop critiquing this song now, otherwise I might end up as the subject of “Mean 2.”

Finally, You Belong with Me. (Click link to view video)

The face of evil.

Intended Message: The boy next door, who is absolutely perfect for you, doesn’t realize it because he’s trapped in a relationship with a girl he doesn’t really love. As long as you remain loyal for long enough, he’ll finally realize the truth and confess that he’s loved you the entire time as well.

Perceived Message: It’s totally okay to be obsessed with someone already in a relationship. His current girlfriend is always going to be a backstabbing cheater. So yeah, just keep creeping and eventually he’ll figure it out. Passivity wins the day. If you do manage to pluck up the courage to write a note professing your love, keep in mind that you’re encouraging someone to cheat on his girlfriend. Great love advice.

I know the producers are going for a Peter Parker/ Mary Jane next-door-neighbor relationship here, but those two house windows are dangerously close together. It’s almost like the contractors are promoting being a peeping Tom. Check out the guy peering out his window at 0:55 onto the unsuspecting Taylor Swift dancing and tell me that he’s been consistently able to respect her privacy.

One thing I just don’t understand is why the evil girlfriend chooses, of all possible times, right after her man scores a game-winning touchdown to communicate that she has the hots for another player. Hooray for more cheating!

At the end, we see Swift bogged down in homework and studying, claiming that she can’t go to the dance. After the guy leaves, she then ditches her studies in order to go to the dance, picking out a dress in no time. Lying to the boy you’re trying to impress and not doing your homework? Great life advice.

Also, considering that the boy didn’t know that Taylor was going to show up, the “I love you” note couldn’t have been originally meant for her. Even if it was, it means that this guy has always had thoughts about cheating on his girlfriend, and what’s to stop him from cheating on Swift? By the way, unless Taylor’s dress has pockets, I’m curious as to where she pulled her “I love you” note out of.

Why am I being so critical of the sincerity behind these songs? After all, these star-crossed lovers might be meant for each other! Well then how would you explain why there’s a different actor portraying her love interest in every single video? Either these “love songs” are all about the same hypothetical guy that Taylor has never gotten the urge to actually make a move on, or she’s someone who has had way too many relationships. And is that type of person really someone you want to be taking relationship advice from?

Another reason to doubt the sincerity of these “made in heaven” relationships is her recent material, which is largely about her rough breakups. It makes you wonder how long a guy stays in the “belong with me” stage of the relationship before he falls into the “we are never ever ever getting back together (like ever)” stage of the relationship.

Finally, for all her complaints about being left in the friend-zone, my sympathies go towards Taylor Swift’s male backup musicians, who appear to have been in her friend-zone for quite some time. The same goes for Carly Rae Jepsen’s backup musicians.

Call us Maybe? 😦

As a closing note, Taylor Swift, even if she was a perfect songwriter, would not be a good person to ask for love advice. Why? Because she’s famous and we’re not.

Well that’s all for this week folks. Check back next time to hear all about the worst products I’ve ever purchased. You won’t want to miss it.

Today I will be analyzing this commercial: Kmart The Walk (Click to view the commercial)

This 9-year-old just oozes the swag.

Intended message: You can be hip and cool this new school year, drawing everyone’s attention, all because you wore clothing you bought from Kmart. It’s funny because these kids are on a catwalk like adults! Oh and look, there’s Dubstep music too!

Perceived Message: So the new school year’s starting up, and you desperately need to find your new look. But where to shop? Kohl’s? Carson’s? Maybe even JCPenny? You might consider shopping at a store that specializes in its sale of clothes, but no, you choose to shop at the lovable, high-quality franchise known as Kmart.

Is this really what Kmart thinks kids believe these days? That Kmart is the “hot spot” for fashion? I can just picture it. “Yo dawg, where did you get them duds fo sizzle?” “I got them at the Kmart!” “Oh SNAAAAAP!”

Now I know that the point of advertising is to convince people what to think of your product. However, being a film major, I know that one has to base his or her message at least somewhat in what the audience already thinks and believes, otherwise the audience won’t accept any new ideas the commercial is proposing. In other words, the conclusion of your argument can’t be use as evidence to support your conclusion.

Now don’t get me wrong, I used Kmart as my source of Legos and Yu-Gi-Oh cards back in the day. However, is one commercial going to radically change my perception of Kmart as a clothing store? I’m inclined to say no.

But hey! I have an idea. How about we add this hip new thing called Dubstep into the commercial? Kids love Dubstep, right? Yeah! What better way to make our product appear cool, dank, and fly for the flashy 21st century than some of this Dubstep the kids are listening to? Since Dubstep is relevant, it’ll make our product relevant too right?

Wrong. Case and Point: Internet Explorer (Click to view the commercial)

Internet Explorer, I’m sorry, but Dubstep does not make you relevant either. You can’t drop the BASS if you don’t BASE your commercial in reality.  (See what I did there?)

Back to Kmart though. The biggest problem that I have with the commercial, one that I’m sure you’ve realized, is the fact that these catwalk models are only 9 years old. I’ll repeat that. These tots are only 9 years old. Now I’m sure that these could be perfectly normal kids who the producers told to wear too much make-up and walk in a certain way down the platform. However, I find it much more likely that the parents of these kids put their little angels through a crash course in sexualization in order to make a quick buck. So much for not ruining childhood innocence.

My question for these parents is: when has an overblown excitement to have your kid grow up ever worked out for the better? Forgive me for using the slippery-slope argument, but if this is what these kids judge as acceptable now, what will they be doing at age 13? Age 19? One only has to look at Toddlers and Tiaras for an example. Or how about Jenna Rose (Who is 12 in this video)? Please explain to me any possible scenario for this girl’s future that is consistent with wholesome family values.

Jenna Rose performing OMG and My Jeans.

However, the worst part about this is not about the children in the commercial. That damage has been done. Instead, I’d like to draw attention to the message this is sending the viewers at home. It’s not cute. The kids viewing this commercial don’t get the joke that these kids are too young to be on the catwalk. They see these sexualized kids their age and believe that this is what it means to be popular. This is what it takes to be accepted and admired. Who’da thunk it? A method sexualization that comes from, of all places, Kmart.

I’m inclined to think that Kmart isn’t totally oblivious to this though, especially when they use the tagline “work it” to appeal to the preteen demographic.

I have one final gripe before I rap this post up. Am I the only one who finds the intercut glances of the adults watching this promenade a little creepy? (Especially the one at 0:40) Keeping in mind that these kids are 9 years old, it would be one thing for the adults’ expressions to communicate that they think this whole thing is cute for preteens, but these expressions are that of infatuation.

Adult infatuation with 9-year-olds. Not creepy at all, Kmart.

Well, there you have it. I hope you’ve enjoyed my first blog post about everything wrong with Kmart’s commercial. Check back next time where I analyze the lyrics of popular Taylor Swift songs.