Bear With Me: The Sound And The Furry
Boy, will my friends be jealous!
Then again, my gifter will probably have to double-park the van he used to deliver the thing. And given that he’s a thrifty type who also likes to save time, his vehicle with the permanently fogged-up windows will probably be filled up with those other “friends” he tends to collect on the way. (And then enslave in his basement. )
And they get restless, so perhaps he’ll have to leave early.
Sorry, but this commercial for the “Big Hunka Love” Bear from the Vermont Teddy Bear Company is so staggeringly bad, like homemade-porn-from-the-‘80s bad, or weird-fetish-video-from-beyond-our-time/space continuum-bad, it seems like the company was trying to be in on the joke.
And what humor it is! It’s about size. Let us count the ways.
It opens with a tank-topped young woman shown holding up a 12-inch ruler. If that’s not enough of a giveaway, the announcer says the word “big” 15 times in less than two minutes. Still not clear enough? We get two upward arrow graphic effects bearing the words “4 1/2 feet!”
The look and tone is so cheap, sad, and misogynistic that by comparison, ads for Levitra and Viagra seem like the epic works of Kurosawa.
Even the stuffed bear is shamed, from the toxic copy when he hears that he is the greatest gift because you can’t give your lady love chocolate. (Show local anorexic teen porn model here throwing her red, heart-shaped box, still filled with chocolates, into the garbage. Because then she will eat too much, ask if she looks fat, and “you don’t want to go there.”)
Plus, we keep hearing about the “big reaction, big reward,” that the guy who sends this incredibly overpriced $99 Humunculus will receive. But rather than suggesting any sort of consummation action, the writers keep throwing the bear at this poor woman as some giant soft sex substitute, or future threesome partner. The announcer tells us that you’re supposed to leave the bear on her bed so that “when you’re not around, your bear will be there to keep her company, and thinking about you.” Meanwhile, she’s shown in her red negligee, jumping on the fake fur and snuggling with the moot snout.
Sadly, the company is grossly overcompensating for something -- and it takes about four seconds of sleuthing on You Tube to get to the bottom of it. There is deception afoot, similar to the indignity of Cookie Puss. You remember the classic Carvel cake that was discovered, when turned upside down, to be another cake completely? (Was it Fudgie the Whale?)
Well, in holidays past, this same big stud-bear dude was sold as a Mama Bear, part of a three-bear set, to delight children raised on the myth of Christmas Morning. This bear is the medium one in the group, with the triple-digit BMI, so it would take at least 10 penis jokes to man up this furry lady.
At the same time, perhaps the company wanted to keep the gender open and fluid; it could be a bachelor bear or a mama bear. (Or perhaps a completely asexual and all-business bear, as when the giant poignant thing is shown sitting in an empty office on a leather chair.)
Could it be any worse? As a gift, I guess this big hunka dead Elvis bear beats the original Valentine’s Day gift offering to women, according to Wikipedia: “The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide.”
After seeing this spot, I understand why Stephen Colbert, who famously despises bears (as a kid, other kids made fun of him as "Cole-bear"), describes them as "godless killing machines without souls."
And while we’re at the Olympics, there’s the whole angle of the Russian bear who roared during the Cold War. He’s warming up now, but still a ridiculous but scary joker. On any level, this rather pricey passive aggressive bear is, to paraphrase old Goldilocks, “just wrong.”
So guys, if you’re looking for a gift with less of a “Silence Of The Lambs”-effect, I’d go for the drunken frog balloon that says “Kiss me!”
At least he’s being direct, warts and all.