Ad Space – The Nabisco Seal

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 …

The Product:
Nabisco snack goods

The Promotion:

The Pitch:
We’ve finally given in to that pesky Sea Mammals Union. Hey, it’s more than Chicken of the Sea has done.

When I praise a commercial, usually that’s because it’s inventive, or funny, or expertly well-crafted. But here, while this ad isn’t non-inventive, or unfunny, or poorly crafted, that’s not why I like it. This ad … is charming.

Charm is one of those things that’s hard to pin down. If another ad took this same approach, and did things just a tiny bit differently, I might find it dull or grating, and not be able to tell you why.

I guess it’s that, this really does feel like an old-school children’s picture book adapted for animation, even though I’m fairly confident you won’t find The Nabisco Seal in any libraries. The bit where the kid’s following a trail of snacks to find “someone who needs me” absolutely feels like it could come from a real kids’ book, except for the part where everything’s a brand name product. And the way it handles the “seal” pun, where there’s some amusing wordplay but they don’t try to make a punchline out of it, feels very in-keeping with this sort of story.

It’s not a perfect recreation of the style – the rhyming is never very good, and the seal outright abandons it in the name of brevity. But overall, it evokes these cute little childhood stories so well, I can’t help being charmed by it.

Plus, according to the YouTube description, this ad originally aired during the television premiere of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which is just, like, the perfect place to put it.