A year or so ago (perhaps even a few years) Saturday Night Live‘s opening commercial-sketch, the first one after the monologue as always, was a rip on the Lexus company and/or their Christmas advertisements.

The typical Lexus advertisement during the Christmas season, which has started I do not know how long ago, has a generous soul leading a loved one outside, usually a wife or an offspring, blindfolded or eyes covered until there’s a great reveal: an automobile complete with giant red ribbon on top, tied all around. The red ribbon is of course freakishly large and is something ridiculous to find on an automotive vehicle even on that day or season. In real life the item in question is so unusual that a person finding that on the new car would ask, within the first minute where the heck did the bow come from. I can assume, personally, that the recipients ask that in the next minute after the commercial would end; I never have and I don’t care.

The SNL skit was one of their first-skit-after-monologue psuedo-commercials, as I mentioned before, and it progressed logically. Automotive vehicles as presents may not be too much of a shock in an affluent household, but a giant red bow on top is quite odd; I would also be shocked if my rent-a-car was driven up to my home wrapped in brown paper (as Enterprise used to advertise, I recall). The SNL skit, accordingly, had the woman’s first reaction being a question regarding the bow and its origins.

This year the Lexus commmercial has the family step into the living room to find the Lexus SUV with the red bow on top… the wife asks where the bow came from and never marvels at the gift itself. Lexus does it further than ever before because the vehicle is in the living room. It’s cute how the son wonders how the car got there and looks up the chimney just to insure the presence of Christmas magic of some sort. The second Lexus commercial is set in a ribbon-in-a-bow factory on the red ribbon line as production suddenly turns from small ribbons to the large type. From normal to freak is a fast transition. It’s different; it’s mildly entertaining and it answers the original SNL question… and they asked the question themselves to insure continuity and not to confuse people.

This takes everything full circle. The parody is addressed, answered, recongized, then ignored, used, and duplicated. Saturday Night Live may have been plaguarized, or even acknowledged behind the scenes; it does at least mean that humor makes a difference. I’m waiting for (and fearing) the Martha Stewart Topless Christmas Special once she’s released from prison.

Life goes on. If Lexus wasn’t theming their commercials during the Christmas season and tying in their bow idea every year then it wouldn’t be right. I expect that like I expect the Pink Panther to sell insulation and Snoopy to sell insurance. For it to be otherwise would be unnatural.


John (
Haven’t seen the SNL reference, but I was trying to figure out who the target is for the Lexus in the Living Room spots (they spend *lots* of research dollars before producing/airing such a thing).

Must be high-earner husbands with idiot trophy wives – who else could relate? Certainly not an intelligent wife, trophy or otherwise.

The ad is quite insulting to women (as well as the middle class and poor, really).

What an achievement!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004, 11:27:34 PM