Clever Ad. Cranky Catholics.
As controversies go, this isn’t a huge one. I doubt it got even a minute on cable news last night.
But, hey, how often do I get to praise Jeff Bezos while telling cranky Catholics to lighten up?
Not often. So here we go.
I think the new Amazon Prime “Band Practice” commercial is clever and kind of haunting. No, it’s nothing like that unforgettable Budweiser ad , which is worth watching again today on the anniversary of 9/11.
But it’s pretty danged good.
Here, see for yourself::
The commercial stopped me the first time I saw it. There are the images: the bedraggled mother, the hand-lettered band practice sign and the crazy kids making a racket in the bedroom. And then there’s the soundtrack, one of the most evocative pieces of music ever written, the Ave Maria.
At the risk of admitting I’m a bit slow, I didn’t get the point of the ad. Not at first. I guess I wasn’t fully paying attention. Or I was so stunned by the sacred music that I couldn’t figure out what was happening.
Ah, but the second time, I totally saw the blissed-out dad with his noise-cancelling headphones.
It made me smile.
You see, about the only time I hear the Ave anymore is at funerals. This ad made me want to put the music on at home, close my eyes and let it wash over me. Maybe even with some brand new headphones.
Of course you can’t please everyone and stuffy Catholics immediately began griping that it’s wrong to use this song of the annunciation to try to sell stuff. They’re demanding Bezos’ company take it off the air or substitute something else in the soundtrack.
Here’s a sample of their complaints:
I find it offensive It is a Catholic Song which is sung by choirs around Christmas Time It is also sung at Funerals. It makes me angry every time I hear it. Please take it off!
I am not religious but I find this immensely disrespectful. Would you have people saying kaddish over broken toys?
Amazon is about selling their products and nothing else. They used the sacred to sell their product. Very disrespectful to say the least..
Enter Fr. Dan Beeman, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Newport News with a dose of common sense:
I’m with Beeman on this. Lighten up. Enjoy the music.