I became quite aware of my limits in the Halloween costume department when, one October evening several years ago, I desperately tried to create a bunny tail out of a handful of cotton balls and some Scotch tape. My daughter, who trusts me so fully, agreed to go as a bunny because we had all the parts — at least I convinced her we did. But that tail fell apart in minutes and, even before that, looked like a piece static-y laundry stuck to her costume of broken dreams.
So you probably think I’m all over the store-bought costumes. Well, in fact I’m not (unless they’re really marked down, don’t have characters, aren’t all gender-cued, caveat this, exception that). We still go for homemade. I’m just not much involved. So I bristled with Slate columinst Tom Scocca and others who were outraged over the message of this Target ad.
We’re supposed to sympathize with the boy. His mom made him a not super-accurate approximation of an Iron Man costume, yet she could have picked up a perfectly fabulous manufactured one at Target. Mooooom. That’s so embarrassing!
Scocca points out what’s wrong with the ad, including the fact that it craps on Target customers. Also, it’s a great costume. (Coming from the bunny mom, I know. But still. That punch light is genius!). Also, homemade costumes are, for kids, the memorable ones (daughter’s tail-less bunny costume is indeed still talked about). And in terms of Target’s bottom line, the store’s real interest is in selling that mom tape, paint, construction paper and the necessary punch lights (PS: those things eat through batteries. Hey, Target, cha-ching!).
Truthfully, I had to watch the ad twice to realize the store-bought one was being pitched as better. What do you think of the ad?
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Video: YouTube, via Slate