Thingish Things

Best Buy Talks Smack; Santa Fires Back

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Dec• 24•11

Best Buy's Big Mistake

Any honest sports fan will look you in the eye and tell you with absolute certainty that there is, in fact, such a thing as a jinx. As sure as there is a God, there is a way to negatively affect the outcome of a sporting match. The culprit usually is arrogance.

There are some things one simply doesn’t say before or during a game. “Johnson’s hands are glue; he hasn’t dropped a touchdown pass in twenty-seven weeks,” is an example of one of them. Johnson may be without a thumb by halftime. One should never shout, “We tied it up!” after a touchdown drive — but before the extra point is kicked — just as surely as a shipbuilder would never declare his latest creation “unsinkable.” (See RMS Titanic, 1912-1912.)

I couldn’t help thinking in watching this holiday season’s Best Buy ad campaign, “Game-On-Santa,”  that the electronic outlet was toying dangerously with the same lock tumblers in the sky. Best Buy was outright messing with Santa Clause in its ads, suggesting preposterously that it could compete, and  outdo, Kris Kringle’s prowess as a gift giver. The ad campaign got under my skin — I am deeply loyal to Santa Clause — and I hated myself a little while standing in line at Best Buy with an armful of items waiting to be rung up.

But the forces of the universe took care of Best Buy after all. Soon after those ads went on the air, supernatural gremlins — let’s call them elves — set about their work in gunking up Best Buy’s fulfillment systems.  Thousands of online orders never got shipped, customers went ballistic, and Best Buy took a public relations beating that $100 million in advertising won’t cure.

I wouldn’t say that Santa and his elves are malicious, but they are, perhaps, just a little territorial.  Or maybe just competitive. Game on, Best Buy.  

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