Clement Clarke Moore may have had reindeer on his mind when he sprang from his bed to see what was the matter. But the clamor today resonates to something not nearly as fun as eight tiny reindeer. The fuss is about an anti-nature ad that Toys"R"Us has created. Have you seen it?
Introduced online in October as the centerpiece of the company's holiday toy campaign, the ad has raised the ire of enough naturalists, scientists, teachers and parents that a boycott response has followed. The video starts innocently enough as a grade school field trip to the woods. The kids on the bus are quizzed a bit by the leader, who suddenly shifts the focus from trees to toys by telling the group of 6- to 12-year-olds they are going to Toys"R"Us, where they can pick out any toy they want.
Cheers and excitement follow, and the mayhem reaches a pinnacle as the kids race screaming into the store. The leader and sales associate actors smile and nod in approval. The message seemed clear in my mind, "toys are better than trees," or "consumerism beats Mother Nature any day."
See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.