Comcast, desperate to be loved, makes E.T. sequel

For the holidays, Comcast parent Xfinity brings ET back to Earth. He's so impressed by the new Xfinity services, you know.

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An Xfinity of joy.

Screenshot by ZDNet

When you hear the word Xfinity, what's your immediate thought?

Might it be Comcast, the brand voted -- more than once -- America's most hated?

It's hard to get away from an image of satanic customer service. Will anyone ever forget the Comcast service rep who badgered a customer to the point of extreme ululation?

By creating a new Xfinity brand, Comcast may have hoped your feelings about your cable and internet service might mollify.

It's not an easy task. So, for this holiday season, the company has resorted to extraterrestrial desperation. It's brought E.T. back to life and, indeed, to Earth -- in an ad that's a mini-sequel to the famous movie.

The utterly adorable little 1982 movie alien has returned to visit Elliott, the little boy who became his friend when no one else would be.

In those days, everyone wept as the two of them cycled across the sky.

Now, though, Elliott is grown and has a family of his own. Yes, just like Comcast is now Comcast NBC Universal.

The ad is lovingly produced, with every detail a sincere homage to the original.

Well, except for the Xfinity parts. 

You see, no company will make an ad without stuffing at least some of its offering inside.

Here, then, we're supposed to believe that E.T. marvels at the creation of, oh, the internet. Virtual reality sends him positively giddy.

My, outer space has really gone backward since Matt Damon, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock went up there.

Meanwhile, down here, the Xfinity brand is actually expanding across the world. Comcast bought the Sky digital satellite operator, so the UK and western Europe will now be blessed with Xfinity products rather than Sky.

While one might -- does -- carp at the Comcast cable history, the next few years may be a fine time for a small revival. I sense that many people are beginning to realize that cutting the cord didn't mean cutting the costs.

As the price of streaming services rises and some streaming services resort to, oh, bundling, customers might begin to look more kindly again on the likes of Xfinity.

Which may be why the brand wants to sprinkle a little love over the Holidays.

Love can make you a lot of money.