The award for long-running irritating Christmas-related ad: gotta go with Lexus. Who gives a car for Christmas? What do you give, the downpayment? Talk about a gift that could keep on giving. Anyway, I find these ads incredibly obnoxious. If class warfare is ever declared in this country, they'll trace the seeds of rebellion back to these "we're rich and you're not" ads that make those who can't afford a Lexus feel like the poor little match girl with out noses pressed to the window of the car dealership.
Anything by Kay Jewelers, Zales, or the diamond industry is a must for a humbug award. The entire equation of diamond = love brings out the worst in the women they're so squarely aimed at. Okay, Kay Jewelers is on the lower end of the "diamonds are a girls best friend" spectrum, and I haven't seen them run any of those rule-of-thumb for engagement rings ads (if he really loved you, he'd spend 90% of his annual salary...), but I find these ads manipulative (even by advertisting standards) and smarmy.
(Speaking of smarmy, I had been a little worried about the young woman in the Bank of America ad - the one who's just been made the branch manager and is telling mom and dad the good news. I keep wondering, how old is she? Does she really still live with her parents? Can't a branch manager afford to live on her own? Well, my worries about little Miss Goody Two-Shoes still sleeping, at age 33, in her twin-bed with her high school pompoms still stuck in a vase on her bookcase, have been put to rest. She's apparently gotten married. She's the pretty-ish, dreamy-eyed woman sitting on the floor in front of her couch watching It's a Wonderful Life, when her husband gives her a diamond gift and/or a Bulova watch from -ta-DA - Kay Jewelers. I'm sure her BofA parents are much relieved.)