• 1 minute Read

Today’s Tear-Jerker Christmas Ad From Dick’s Is About How Your Children Will Grow Up Before You Know It

Also, basketball!

Tis the season for cryvertising, where companies tug at our heart strings in order to fill us with an overwhelming desire for products that normally don’t inspire so much as a single tear rolling down our cheeks. This year, we’ve come to crave everything from black house paint to a pet penguin to pal around with–and now, Dick’s Sporting Goods has convinced us that we also need a basketball hoop.

In the company’s new spot, “The Hoop,” from agency Anomaly, we are confronted with our own mortality and the fact that our children will grow up in a veritable blink of an eye, as well as basketball. A dad surprises his young daughter with a driveway basketball hoop at the beginning of the spot, and as the montage–set to the jaunty bummer of “American Beauty” by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors–progresses, his little girl gets older, her friends move away, wind and rain batter the old hoop, she gets big enough to school him in one-on-one, she gets a boyfriend, and she goes off to college. At the end, he’s left to play HORSE by himself, waiting for the inexorable march of death to eventually claim him while the sturdy, life-defining possession that is the Dick’s Sporting Goods basketball hoop stands stalwart at the driveway. “Give a gift that matters,” the ad recommends. Indeed.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.