Lexus has been making their bow-on-the-roof Christmas commercials since 1998. For the vast majority of the campaign’s run, these commercials have all been pretty much the same: One spouse hands the other a small present, said spouse finds keys inside, both exit their snow-covered upper-middle-class home to reveal a brand new Lexus with a bright red bow on it sitting in the driveway. They’re simple, effective, and memorable, even if they are a bit unrealistic. (What kind of person makes a $40,000+ purchase without at least giving their significant other a heads up?)
This year’s commercials are a little different. The bows are still there, but now, instead of seeing the people receiving them, we get to see the people who make them. The campaign is … a little confusing, at least when you take a step back and really think about it.
Point being, I have some questions.
Who is this family?
Are they the Lexus bow makers?
Like, as in, are all of the bows in all of the Lexus Christmas commercials made by this man and woman, with help from their children and an older gentleman who I’m assuming is either his or her father?
Do they live in that mansion?
If so, how can they afford a palatial home in a scenic, snowy mountain town on bow makers’ salaries?
How much is Lexus paying them to make these damn bows?
If you were a Lexus shareholder, would you be outraged that the company is apparently (a) shelling out an extravagant amount of money to this family to individually hand-make every bow; (b) sending each car to their home to pick up the bow instead of just mailing them to wherever the cars already are; and (c) endorsing child labor?
Wouldn’t it make more sense to have the bows made in bulk overseas for pennies on the dollar?
Do you think large companies should take jobs away from small, more expensive family businesses like this in order to maximize profits, or do you think that weakens the backbone of American society?
Why are they all so dressed up to make bows?
What is that lady wearing?
Do you think she made that herself with some leftover bow scraps and was like “Hey, honey! Look what I made,” and the husband was all “Uuuuuuhhhhhh” and she was like “Isn’t it cute?” and he was all “Yeaaah. It’s nice. But you’re gonna change before the Robertsons come over for dinner, right?” and she was like “No, why?” and he was all “No reason”?
What if their kids don’t want to take over the bow-making business when they get older?
Like, what if their son sits them down one day and explains that he met a girl at college and the two of them want to open up a quirky little coffee shop in Austin?
Do you think the dad would lose his mind and start screaming about how HIS FATHER made bows for 60 YEARS and in THIS FAMILY they care about a LITTLE SOMETHING called TRADITION, and NO SON OF HIS is going to RUN OFF to a HIPPIE TOWN to make LATTES with some FLOOZY?
Do you think they made that bow for their dog on the company dime?
Do you think the husband and wife have a good marriage?
It looks like they have a good marriage, right?
When they walk through their idyllic little town — mom, dad, daughter, and son, all holding hands and laughing as they glance inside the windows that all the local shopkeepers have painstakingly decorated for the holiday season — do you think their neighbors look at them and just hate them with the blazing fury of 1,000 suns?
Like, do you think the neighbors all sit around at dinner parties after the bow-making family leaves, crack open 5-30 bottles of wine, and let fly with all the “You know, I heard she may be cheating him” and “What the hell was that homemade outfit she was wearing? You’re a bow maker, honey. Not Vera Wang,” and “My cousin works at the bank and he said that they’re actually underwater on that big house of theirs” snippy gossip they have?
Wait, why is the woman making this bow by herself?
And where is the rest of her family?
And why is she wearing a form-fitting, sheer-backed black dress and sexy heels?
What is going here?
Is she trying to impress the guy who drives the Lexuses to her house to pick up the bows?
Like, do you think maybe it’s Friday night and they were all getting ready to get away for the weekend, but then one last order came in and she was all “No no no, you guys go. I’ll stay back and make the bow. No, really, it’s okay. The kids are already so excited. I’ll drive up tomorrow and meet you around lunchtime,” and then she started sitting around that big house all by herself, getting lonely, and thinking about the dreams she had of becoming an actress, so she decided to put on a little show for the Lexus guy?
Is a little harmless flirting outside your marriage is okay if it never goes anywhere?
You know, just to spice things up once in a while?
Or do you think… ? No.
I mean, she wouldn’t, right?
Those gossipy neighbors couldn’t be right, could they?
Is she… ?
Is she having an affair with the Lexus guy?
Is that what’s happening here?
Should Lexus really be basing their big Christmas campaign around such obvious adulterers?
Do you think there even was a “last-minute order” that she had to stay behind and make?
Or do you think there was an order, but they just waited until the last minute to phone it in, so she’d have no choice but to stay behind?
What drove her to the affair?
Was it all the cracks about the outfits she made with bow scraps?
Do you think her husband should have been more supportive of her attempts to create a signature look for herself?
The thing at the end where the dog winks … does this imply that the dog approves of the affair and/or had a part in setting the two of them up, or does the wink mean the dog wants the viewer to know he caught her red-handed?
Does this mean the dog can understand humanspeak?
CAN THE DOG TALK?
ARE THESE COMMERCIALS ABOUT A WEALTHY BOW-MAKING FAMILY WHO HAS A TALKING DOG?
WHERE DID THEY GET THE TALKING DOG?
Wait a second … if she’s having an affair with the Lexus guy, where the heck is he?
Is she not having an affair?
If not, why did she get so dressed up?
Do you think maybe she and the dog have a secret, Sonny-and-Cher-style nightclub act that they do three or four towns over, a la Duke Silver on Parks & Recreation?
Do you think the dog plays the piano while she sits seductively on the edge and purrs her way through American classics, with some snappy banter between songs?
If you went to a fancy nightclub and a well-dressed lady and her talking dog took the stage and put on that show for an hour, you would totally sh*t, right?