I had to watch it a couple of times before I “got it”. The son is practicing some loud music, but the father is peacefully listening to Schubert’s Ave Maria, thanks to noise-cancelling headphones sold through Amazon.
At first I thought it might be at least mildly sacrilegious, but it seems not to be. And acquainting the larger public with a Marian hymn (with the verse “gratia plena”, no less) can’t be a bad thing.
I questioned this as well, but I don’t think there was any sacrilegious intent, indeed, it’s entirely possible that a faithful Catholic ad designer might have used it to foster Marian devotion. Many people from a non-Catholic background have no idea that such a beautiful hymn even exists.
The anti-Catholic fundamentalist Christians could even claim that this was a satanic attempt to promote Marian “idolatry” (despite the fact that this verse is derived from the Bible). So it cuts both ways.
The Valiant Woman in Proverbs has a home business with international reach. Since Mary is associated with the Valiant Woman, I don’t think you can complain about Mary on a commercial unless it is bad in nature.
In my opinion, I think the choice of song was a very inappropriate for Amazon to use and I’m hoping if enough people voice their opinion Amazon will use good sense to pull it. I get what Amazon was trying to convey, but really??? I’m not one to comment on topics, but this just raised an eyeball with me…I guess nothing is sacred anymore in the land of consumerism…
I was, and remain, somewhat of two minds about the commercial. On the one hand, there are people who know nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, of substance about Catholicism. I have been in environments more than once (work, family gatherings, etc.) where I am possibly the only practicing, faithful Catholic they have ever known, or at least ever talked to about religion. It fell upon me to be as articulate a spokesman as I could be. Many parts of the American South or Appalachia (these somewhat overlap) have very few Catholics, and there may be no more than a tiny mission church with a handful of parishioners and a priest who drives in from another county once a week for Mass. A non-Catholic in an area such as this might see the commercial, be struck by the beauty of the hymn, and wish to learn more about Catholicism.
On the other hand, it could be seen as taking liberties with Catholicism that they wouldn’t dare do about certain other groups. I can assure you that they wouldn’t have the man listening to Jack Jones’ “Wives and Lovers” (which some would describe as toxically sexist), nor would there have been Muslim prayer chant. I could cite other examples.
Ultimately you would have to ask the producer of the commercial why they chose that song instead of something else.
And though I can’t find a YouTube video of it, another somewhat tone-deaf TV commercial was for 7-Eleven in the 1980s. I recall that it dealt with “freedom of choice”, regarding the size of fountain sodas you could get there, and ended with that slogan on the screen with, IIRC, burning sparklers and drink cups.
Ever since Roe v Wade, “freedom of choice” has meant one thing, and one thing only, to many, many Americans of all political stripes. I had to wonder if this was an attempt by pro-choice forces to plant this concept in the mind of the public, and to establish it as a good thing. Personally, I found it pretty blatant.
I’m a Christian, but not a Catholic. That said, I understand the importance of Mary in Catholic theology. I must say, I’m surprised there is not more of an outcry that the Mother of God is being used for purely commercial purposes.
DISCLAIMER: Catholic Answers has turned over the archive to Catholic-Questions.org and no longer owns, manages, or moderates the forums. For additional apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.