Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Marketing On Ice

It's funny the things you save up for the massive, magnanimous gifts or tickets you hem and haw over and finally  bite the bullet and get them for your kids. And then they invariably give you a blank look, and, depending on how old they are, give you a smile that may or may not be convincing. Nothing gives you a glimpse better into the moment when your kids send you to a retirement home more than your child trying hard not to hurt your feelings. The vast chasm of  your own frailty/humanity set against the invincibility of youth.

Anyways, so we tell Owlet we are going to "Disney On Ice", and she gives us a 'oh good' smile which is more bewildered than blank, but I think she gets that she's supposed to be excited, so she attempts a small clap or something.

My parents were 1st generation immigrants, and they were... Well. I went to IceCapades as a kid, and I swear to god the concession workers who sold wares at my seat level look suspiciously like Himalayan sherpas. Indistinguishable dots moving in pretty patterns with a flutter of detail which may or may not have been a reference to Star Wars figure in my memory. This is also, more or less, my memory of any sporting event we were taken to.

What I'm saying is goddamn those tickets were pricey and I can understand why my parents might have gotten the seats at the treeline and damned  be the altitude sickness. And with these hefty tickets in our wallets you can imagine my chagrin at being treated with a 6-year-old's version of a polite shrug as a response.

But that's all understandable because how is she to know wtf a "Disney On Ice" actually is? We tell Owl Jr. but good luck if any of that even remotely registers. He doesn't even give us a polite smile.

We get there and it's just a phalanax of marketing. Over-priced dolls and programs and commemorative plastic cups (apparently the plastic cups with a drink in them were 12 bucks. Jaw. Dropping.), and  keychains and my god it just goes on forever. This is on top of the mindless spinning glowy things that are really going to be amusing for exactly as long as the show if not shorter. It's like a Fast Track To Global Warming By Using Quickly Disposable Petroleum Products, while we show you an show that's ironically ON ICE.

Even over loud speaker they are pimping out their wares. Duplo + Disney + Another Faceless Multi-national + Child Development Advantage == sales, I think. The wording is pretty slick 'Something something Disney something is now being offered!'. Or some equally egregious weasel word which is better than "COME BUY OUR STUFF, OUR SHAREHOLDERS DEMAND MORE VALUE!" . So there's the audio, and the stalls, and the fact that Owlet and a bunch of girls her age are all dressed as some sort of Disney Princess and long story short both our kids have some outrageously overpriced plushies now.

Disney on Ice is really about Princesses on Ice. When you look at how everything is structured, that's what it's aimed at. Owlet got a choice of five or six different princesses(she chose Belle), and Owl Jr. got to pick Flounder or The Beast (he chose Flounder (although I did make it clear to him that he could pick a princess if he wanted)). I'm just glad they have newer princesses, with better values. The Princess and Frog had a line about 'I got this curse because I wished upon a star instead of relying on hard work', which was pretty great.

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