Happy Labor Day, canaries everywhere!

Macys ad for labor day with canaries

I cut this out of the LA Times Magazine in 2006, as you can see. I was going to call Macy’s Department Store to compliment them on their guts and creativity, but instead I’ll write it here. I could not believe the ad agency was cool enough to be so uncool!!! Yay, Macy’s!

Canaries are such an old-fashioned bird – I think of them as Victorian, although they’ve been in cages for hundreds of years. (I thought it was about 300 or 400 years, but Animal World says it’s since 1478!) The first canary I remember loving was Pip, Amy’s bird in Little Women. I always wanted a canary since I was little, so I got one for Christmas when I was 7. My grandmother told me they always had a canary in her own family growing up…and, no, they weren’t coal miners. Canaries then were like parakeets now.

Because it takes 6 months for the male to learn how to sing, the breeders have to hold onto the birds for all that time, so they also cost much more than the average parakeet, which is sold at 5 or 6 weeks old. (And everyone knows parakeets also breed like…ahem.)

Canaries are just so un-contemporary! But that’s why they’re perfect for this ad – a very old-fashioned flag-waving small town feeling, with a white picket fence. I like the way the birds surround the big type, too – really pleasing design. Fresh, simple, and summery, which also would have worked well for July 4th. Doesn’t it make you want to go out and properly celebrate right this minute?

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