Freedom! Horrible, Horrible Freedom!


For the 2018 holiday season, Macy’s created an ad called “Space Station”, featuring an astronaut in space who’s missing both her daughter and Christmas.1 The astronaut video chats to stay in touch with her family. Her doleful daughter asks if she’ll be home for Christmas, but alas, she will not. The mother does have a cardboard snowman named “Sunny” her daughter likely made to take up with her.

This ad was featured prominently during the Thanksgiving Day parade, which included a new floating balloon for “Sunny the Snowpal”2.

Sunny in real life

While I’m sure it was expensive to produce, it is also a very bad ad. When Christmas arrives and the astronaut is still up in space, her family video calls her. On the call, her daughter instructs her to get Sunny and “open it, open it, open it”. That’s perturbing, but she gamely rips open the poor snowpal’s guts, and plucks out a snow globe. Alright, I guess. The bigger problem is this:

Houston, we’re about to have hundreds of small problems.

Apparently, the snow globe was surrounded by tiny styrofoam pellets, which are now floating in the space station’s microgravity. In the ad, the astronaut cheerily feels like she’s enjoying snow. In reality, that would simply have to cause some issues, in the same way that crumbs would:

Koren: Which foods are the most difficult to prepare for space?

Kloeris: Anything that creates a lot of crumbs. Crumbs are very difficult to deal with in microgravity because they’re just messy. When they get loose, they can make it into the air filtration system. You have to find a way to clean them up, and that usually involves a vacuum cleaner.

But hey, maybe Macy’s can make a Gravity inspired follow-up, where the mother comes crashing back to Earth and ultimately reunites with her daughter just in time for Thanksgiving 2019.


  1. As always, the relevant video is archived here.↩︎

  2. Here’s what the Macy’s parade web site lists as a “Fun Fact” about the balloon: “Sunny is an original character created for Macy’s 2018 holiday campaign”. Gosh, that is fun. ↩︎