#2. "Grew Up in the Backseat": Subaru Forester
With this TV spot, Subaru asks: Since the most important parts of your child's life will happen inside a car, why are you endangering it by not getting a Subaru, Mr. and Mrs. Satanhitler?
The couple in the commercial did, and later got to witness their daughter saying her first word and making a friend for life in the backseat of their Subaru Forester.
It's also where she made Dad realize he might be racist.
Why? Because she felt safe there, and so will your kid. Subaru: "Like ugly homes on wheels."
What It's Really Saying:
You have to choose between your child's safety and your happiness.
But also: Why does the girl only feel comfortable enough to talk and share with her family when she's outside the house? See, kids are kind of dumb and wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a car tricked out with all the latest safety features and an old onion cart pulled by two drunken elephants in heat. The girl in the video obviously doesn't know what makes a Subaru so special. She just knows that when she's in one, she's not in her house, and that's when she can truly be herself.
"Palestine deserves statehood! God, that felt good to get out."
The bigger issue, however, is that if your child really has all of her most important moments in the car, one parent is doomed to constantly miss out on them. When you're driving a car, you can't keep looking at your kid. No, you keep your eyes on the road, checking for crazy people who want to turn your car into an accordion and play CeeLo Green's "Fuck You!" on it, which is right about when your child mumbles their first word from the backseat.
And just like that, you've missed it, together with a trunk-full of other milestones, leaving you with an agonizing choice: concentrate on the road and never be part of the most precious moments in your child's life, or don't and risk killing the only reason you bought a fucking Subaru in the first place.
Subaru: The Sophie's Choice of cars!
#1. Apple's "Misunderstood" iPhone Ad
The "Misunderstood" ad from Apple centers on a family visiting relatives for Christmas while their teenage son constantly plays with his iPhone.
When Grandpa tries giving him a hug, he can only spare one hand for it. When the kids are building a snowman, he's glued to the screen. When everyone is out skating and having fun, all he cares about is playing Pissed-Off Pigeons or something.
"Siri, why is everyone lame except for me?"
But on Christmas Day, the kid goes up to the TV and (metaphorically) tells his family they can take all that coal they have set aside for him and shove it up their butts until they start shitting diamonds. It turns out he's been secretly recording the family's Christmas activities the entire time, editing them into a heartwarming movie that they can now enjoy, all thanks to Apple.
He then drops the remote and walks out of the room, flipping everyone off.
What It's Really Saying:
Recording life is just as good as living it.
Let's ignore for a second that this commercial could pretty much advertise any video-recording device in history, because its message is much more baffling than that little oversight. See, what this commercial is truly promoting is emotional voyeurism. It says that you don't need to experience the fun of playing in the snow with your family or take in the joyous atmosphere of a house on Christmas Eve. It's enough to just stand on the sidelines and let the others have fun because ... really ... seriously, you're fine. It's fine. No, nothing is wrong, school's been great. Just ... just let it go, OK?
Don't get me wrong. The video that the kid presents at the end is a sweet gesture, but it's less a cherished memento that the family will watch over and over and more something they'll pass on to the boy's psychiatrist somewhere down the line.
But most of all, this spot is really about the "importance" of technology and how all those special moments in your life that you think you're enjoying don't really count unless somebody takes one for the team, hangs back, and records them for you. It's like inventing a nonexistent problem and then telling you that it can only be solved by a combination of your gadget and someone getting fucked over. Then again, hasn't that always been Apple's business model?
"Look, sweetie. You WERE happy then after all!"
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist and editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.