You are now entering Ad Space, a realm of commercials, brought before us so we might examine how they work, and discuss why we both love and hate them so. So it is written …
Nutri-Grain cereal bars
You’ll feel great!
Would you believe, folks, that this is the 50th installment of Ad Space? Almost a full year since I started this little feature! I think a “Woo” and a “Hoo” are in order.
To celebrate the occasion, we’re covering something a little different this time, and stepping into the gray area between “commercial” and “commercial parody”.
This particular ad was created by a small production group called Turnpike Films as part of their demo reel. It was not, in fact, commissioned by Kellogg’s, the makers of Nutri-Grain, and there’s no word of them officially endorsing the ad, but there are people who swear they’ve seen it air on TV.
So what do you call a video like this? Was Turnpike Films making a parody of commercials, taking the claims made by Nutri-Grain and other cereal bars of providing you with a jolt of energy, and exaggerating that into some sort of powerful stimulant that will send you on a life-destroying manic rampage? Or is it a sincere attempt at creating a memorable commercial, doing the same sort of hyperbolic humor that thousands of ads do, just a little more deranged than most?
I honestly cannot say, and that’s what’s so beautiful about commercials: they can get so demented, so over-the-top, so divorced from sense or reason, that a parody ad and the genuine thing are impossible to tell apart. That gonzo approach to marketing is what’s given Ad Space so much wonderful content over the last fifty installments, and I hope over the next fifty to come.