Kids Try to Make Sense of Shakespeare’s Oddly Negative Love Poem in This Adorable Jewelry Ad

As Valentine's nears, Marla Aaron reminds us it's not just about lofty compliments

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Valentine’s Day is mere weeks away. For those who celebrate, the imminent stress of securing the right reservation or finding the ideal gift are enough to make one forget that the day, at its core, is about celebrating love in its purest form. That’s where the real beauty of the day resides. That said, jewelry is certainly a nice perk, and fine jeweler Marla Aaron is here to remind us that you can enjoy both.

With some help from creative agency Something Different and a few precious kids, Marla Aaron Jewelry released a short film titled “Love Is Everything,” celebrating both their vending machine’s newest residency at MZ Wallace in Soho and the Day of Love. About 90 seconds long, video features children from ages 3 to 13 reciting William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130, My Mistress’s Eyes Are Nothing Like the Sun.

The charm of the short doesn’t stem from any expert handling of the poetic playwright’s words; it rests with the honest fumbling and organic reactions of these children—most of whom have not acted before.

“We loved the authenticity of Marla’s vision,” says Something Different managing partner Patti McConnell. “There is something inherently interesting about this cross-section of kids, and their awkwardness as they struggle with Shakespeare’s words is charming and beautiful.”

It’s a very genuine, stripped-down performance that reminds us that love in the form of sincere expression will always outweigh unnecessary bells and whistles.

“Shakespeare’s poem makes the point that love has nothing to do with beauty; its essence is much more ephemeral,” says Marla Aaron, founder of the eponymous jewelry company. “It’s a beautiful message for Valentine’s Day.”

Sonnet 130 isn’t your usual love poem. Shakespeare wrote the piece to satirize how most poets often used the same clichéd comparisons between a woman’s beauty and that of nature. But Sonnet 130 isn’t simply a farce mocking the idea of comparing a woman’s eyes to the sun or cheeks to roses; it’s also a celebration of a love that doesn’t require hyperbole and can simply appreciate someone for who they are.

Here is the sonnet in full:

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red, than her lips red:
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
I grant I never saw a goddess go,
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare,
As any she belied with false compare.

Pairing a Shakespearean sonnet with Aaron’s innovative selling approach is an interesting dichotomy, as her vending machine has been dubbed “the world’s most glamorous vending machine” after it’s initial premiere at the Brooklyn Museum. It is making its first appearance at a public retail store for a limited time, January 24 through Feb. 22. “Love is Everything” will not only be featured on Aaron’s website, but will also play on the machine itself, adding a dash of adorable with every purchase.

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Shannon Miller is a writer, podcast creator and contributor to Adweek.