Marine mammals always up for a little game

Seal

Mullen's "Let's play" campaign for the New England Aquarium succeeds by subtly fusing the human world—in the form of ad copy morphed into hoops, balls and fish—with the naturally playful activities of marine mammals. By contrast, we had that somewhat similarly themed WongDoody effort for a Seattle zoo showing penguins tricked out beyond recognition, more like festive tea-cozies than birds. Now, some animals-rights types might claim that captive seals don't especially enjoy being trained to perform for humans, but I disagree. If they object, they're bright enough let us know. The one that beat me in this game of Seal Pong seemed awfully shrewd: He claimed he'd never played before, then exploited my backhand like a pro and barked to psych me out on match point. Damn his blubbery hide!

—Posted by David Gianatasio