Ovaltine “Yuck”

You’ve got to say this for advertising: It has done more than the National Endowment for the Arts to bring opera (albeit in 30-second snippets) to a broad audience of Americans. This online-video spot for Ovaltine (via agency Marcus Thomas of Cleveland) brings out one of the old warhorses, the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen, with a new set of lyrics to emphasize kids’ disdain for vegetables. For parents, the scenes of kids pushing away, spitting out and otherwise disdaining vegetables will seem all too realistic. And the notion that kids can get the same vitamins and minerals from drinking Ovaltine will be highly welcome – so much so that parents may not think too hard about whether a glass of Ovaltine really provides the same overall nutritional benefit as a dish of vegetables. Instead of asserting that kids love the product, the tuneful vignette simply presents it as a given. So, even if you’re not inclined to surrender to kid taste on the contentious vegetable issue, you’ll absorb the point (as if it’s a well-known fact of nature) that kids will be delighted to drink Ovaltine. –Mark Dolliver