Scrooge loves those gift cards

Scrooge_1_12Picking your favorite Scrooge ain’t easy. There’s Alastair Sim‘s wonderful portrayal from the classic 1951 film. There’s Patrick Stewart, who played the old miser on Broadway (and whose performance on the DVD is, well, over the top, but in a good way). But we always had a soft spot for Albert Finney in the 1970 musical version.

Simon Malls did too, apparently, and rolled out a holiday spot last winter (from Fallon in Minneapolis, flogging a gift card) that recreated one of the great numbers from the film, "Thank You Very Much." It’s a great scene in the movie, with Scrooge jumping around in the snow in his nightgown, blissful to be reformed on Christmas Day. It’s a good commercial, too—joyful and fun, with great singing and decent costumes. And we’re glad to see it’s back for an encore run, having caught it on NY1 the other morning.

Isn’t it a little weird, though, to see Scrooge, in his moment of redemption, pitching for, well, a chain of shopping malls? Granted, he’s doling out gift cards, so that’s sort of nice. But they don’t grow on trees—you’re gonna have to pony up the cash for them, or whip out your credit card. In the movie, the point of the song is that Scrooge is tearing up everyone’s IOUs and ridding them of their debts. The point of this commercial, of course, is to get people to add to theirs.

Oh, humbug.

–Posted by Tim Nudd