Target: Stuff Your Easter Basket With Violent Video Games!

basket_fillersSpring is here, and store shelves and websites are filled with Easter gift. Like these promotional items on the front page of Target. Only this looks more like a Christmas flyer. When did the Easter Bunny start bringing video games and Barbie dolls?

That’s why ads exist, of course: to suggest new traditions that benefit the advertiser in some way. In my family, an Easter basket holds a variety of candy (which parents “help” the child to eat up) and some small toys, like a chirping robo-chicken or a stuffed bunny.

Either some families see the holiday as something more like Christmas, or this is something that Target really, really want to happen. Good luck with that, Target. Please don’t let “basket filler” become the new “stocking stuffer.” (I loathe the phrase “stocking stuffer.”)

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That’s not why reader Gina sent this screen grab to us, though. She had more of a problem with one of the items in the basket. She noticed that the game “Call of Duty: Ghosts” is in the basket, and questions the appropriateness of a first-person shooter game set during wartime as a gift for someone young enough to receive an Easter basket. (It has an ESRB rating of “M,” appropriate for ages 17 and up.) Maybe it’s a questionable gift for anyone during a holiday honoring an executed religious leader.

We asked Target who the target customer for this ad is, but haven’t received a response yet. We’ll let you know when we do.

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  1. SpeakBob says:

    Growing up, my baskets always contained lots of candy and some small toys or gifts and I got them right up until the time I left for college. But I also got 1 nice present. One year it was a new to me bike. Other years it was a new Atari / Nintendo (original or gameboy) game. So giving a video game in a basket isn’t something that I would find out of the ordinary. However the M rating on the game shown would not be an appropriate gift in my mind for a child however, I know some people give baskets to their boyfriend / girlfriend, so that may be the target audience here.

  2. Psylent1 says:

    Among the toy filled Easter baskets I saw at Wal Mart was one with a SWAT team tactical load, complete with guns.

    Here it is at WalMart.com
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/S.W.A.T.-Police-Easter-Basket-7-pc/34163777

  3. CharlesWinthrop says:

    My daughter turns 33 this month (right after Easter) and still gets a basket. Because why not?