Thursday, December 12, 2019

emotionally manipulative... and yet, I'm a bit choked up

How underhanded of Xfinity, a Comcast brand, to pull at our heartstrings (and heartlights) by making the following fan-service video in which E.T. (from 1984's "E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial") comes back to Earth to hang with a grown-up Elliott (played by none other than the man himself: Henry Thomas, looking so much older and wiser) and his family: a wife and two kids. The story recapitulates many of the signal moments from the original 80s film (glowing heart, bike flight, Reese's Pieces), and as I said, it's a fan-service short, so its primary purpose is to play on your fond memories and soften you up before slamming you with the fact that the entire story is a cynical lead-up to a "Use Xfinity!" punchline.

But the ad is well acted, and E.T. is brought to life with decent special effects, and even though I was aware I was being manipulated, I didn't mind. I've enjoyed clever commercials before, and I'm sure to enjoy more in the future. This was a good one... at least for people in a certain age group (talking to you, fellow Gen Xers!).

Enjoy a quick-but-deep dive into nostalgia:

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