Are we supposed now to spend more with retailers who show empathy for the deaf and blind?
Christmas certainly is a time for charity and good will toward fellow man and woman. But now it's getting mixed into commercial messages that are supposed to make you feel better about buying from one corporation than another.
In a single commercial break this morning on "Good Morning America," Best Buy told the story of how one of its store associates helped a blind man set up a large TV in his home and figure out the buttons needed to control it. Here's the text, as pulled together on TallJim.com:
“It was right before Christmas I did a consultation for a guy he was legally blind. He’s been living in the house so long he knows the house in and out. So he had memorized the wall where he wanted the TV. He also had a three year old son who would run around the house and liked to play hide-and-go seek. Finding him sometimes was really hard because he was really short and he was quick. When we were done we had to teach him how to use four different remotes by touch. We had to count the buttons from the bottom. We got it done for him. He was really happy though, he couldn’t stop thanking us. His name was Charles actually. Charles I want to wish you a merry Christmas. “
Now, Jim (and others) wondered why a blind man would want a TV at all. But "legally blind" doesn't mean you are without sight (note Jim's addendum). And, besides, there are concerts, sports and lots of events on TV where audio can carry the show.
With nary an ad in between, the Kay Jeweler ad followed on ABC's morning show. Here a young man uses sign language (and a Bulova watch) to win the heart of a young lady who, it appears, can't hear.
Guess I'm supposed to feel better if I buy my next large-screen TV or piece of electronics from Best Buy or timepiece from Kay.
But, somehow, it would feel purer, less mercenary and more in keeping with the spirit of giving if Best Buy or Kay would just spend the 30 seconds disclosing how much they've contributed to charities, without tying it to pitches for goods or services they sell.