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'Tis the season for really dumb advertising

It's that time of year, when marketers roll out holiday ads in an apparent contest to see who can be the hokiest and most cloying and insult viewers' intelligence the most. This weekend, I came up with a few nominees for the worst holiday spot of the season.

Lexus | "A December to Remember"

What does it take to kill the "December to Remember" sales event? I've gone on record a couple of times about how objectionable the idea of giving luxury cars as Christmas gifts is. Even with the economy in a tailspin, Lexus isn't giving up on the concept. The annoying music is back, the stupid bow. One change: a schmaltzy parallel is drawn between wanting iconic gifts like Atari and Big Wheel as a kid and wanting a Lexus now that you're grown up and might have to work until you're 75.

Kay Jewelers | "Read My Lips"

Let me try to create the scenario. Guy and girl sit down to exchange gifts, guy nervous. Guy starts stammering to girl and signing. She's deaf. He's not good at signing. But he wants to be, see? And guess what, he got her a Bulova watch! (Why no Leo diamond, cheapskate?) Her response when he asks if she likes it: "Read my lips." Kiss. I guess it's laudatory of Kay Jewelers to recognize hearing-deaf relationships in the service of selling watches. So, why does it annoy me so much?

CBS Cares | "Hanukkah Prostate Exam"

In this "CBS Cares" PSA, a woman urges her female friends to think outside the box during Hanukkah. Golf clubs? Sweater? Nah, she suggests giving their guys something they'd never expect: an appointment for a prostate exam. Sure, there might be an awkward silence when he sees the gift, but it's worth it. Granted, it's a very worthy message. Still. What's the connection to Hanukkah? Is a prostate-exam gift certificate not a good Christmas gift?

Submit your own nominees, with YouTube links, in comments.

—Posted by Brian Morrissey

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