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The best toy ever

Lexus has a marketing campaign that compares the best present Gen X-ers got as kids (remembering the Christmas when you got the Big Wheel or the Atari 2600) to getting a new Lexus for Christmas.

While the commercials definitely take me back to how freakin’ great it was to get the Big Wheel or the Atari 2600, there is NO WAY that getting those gifts can compare to getting a luxury car. It’s apples and oranges, first of all: the Lexus does not have the Cool Factor that those two gifts had. The Big Wheel and the Atari 2600 defined entirely new sets of toys — hell, they defined new INDUSTRIES. The Lexus ES is going to be a blip on the radar screen in history.

Here’s the problem for me: the commercial — while attention-getting, and emotion-stirring, and beautifully art-directed — does not make me want a Lexus. In fact, it’s not genuine: a Lexus for Christmas will not even come close to replacing my Atari 2600 memory, and I don’t believe anyone at Lexus thinks it will, either.

In response, Acura has made a commercial that 1) succeeds in ripping off the Lexus ad, 2) isn’t as memorable as the Lexus ad, and 3) manages to be more genuine precisely because it doesn’t pile on the hyperbole. “The Joy Is Back,” Acura says — which would be true if I got an Acura. (Make mine a TSX.) Acura is genuine, even if they’ve ripped off Lexus. Lexus is not, even if their ad gets more attention.

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