It’s a peculiar commercial any way you slice it. Frankenstein’s monster might have ordered any number of products with his Apple iPhone from his secluded mountain cabin, such as a packet of Aveeno Positively Radiant Makeup Removing Wipes, or any number of Swiffer products to help out around the house (aren’t they fantastic?). Maybe even Everybody Loves Raymond: The Complete Series on DVD. But no, he simply ordered two Christmas bulbs, one red and one green, and they were dropped in the snow at his private residence by an invisible delivery service. And, of course, in the only part of the commercial that made perfect sense, even if you just have two Christmas lights, there is always one that will not work properly.
But that’s not all. As the story continued, Frankie made his way into town and scared the bejeezus out of everyone before using his iPhone as a karaoke machine to sing a sweet little rendition of Home for the Holidays with an adorable girl who apparently has a magic touch with those infernal Christmas lights. Then he cried. It’s peculiar, I say.
I first noticed the commercial on Thanksgiving Day amid a houseful of guests, so I didn’t hear any of the words yet seemed to get the message anyway. At the end of the short story, after the villagers accept the monster through the example of the little girl and the camera fades to a glorious view of a magnificent Christmas tree, Apple offered the following request in simple script across the screen: Open your heart to everyone.
Whatever you do, don’t miss Apple’s message at this special time of year: Instead of purchasing one of their products, buy a couple of Christmas lights and let your children sing duets with perfect strangers.
Ha! No, seriously: Open your heart to everyone. I absolutely love it.
It is a sweet message in a carefully scripted commercial with a somewhat lovable monster limping into town with a tear in his eye and a desire to be loved, but it is significantly harder to swallow when the monster appears, well, more monstrous. But I think the message is even more important then. Not because monstrous behavior is excusable. Just the opposite. It is because love is the hope of the world, and the coldest hearts need the most love to have any chance at thawing.
Besides, loving the lovable is far too easy, and wouldn’t you rather have a challenge?