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Daily Howler: We puzzled hard when a new documentary got a bit slick with its ad
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THEY RIDE PENGUINS, DON’T THEY! We puzzled hard when a new documentary got a bit slick with its ad: // link // print // previous // next //
FRIDAY, JULY 21, 2006

THEY RIDE PENGUINS, DON’T THEY: We had to laugh when we saw that even Wordplay, the crossword puzzle documentary, is trying to glom off March of the Penguins. In the ad for the film in today’s New York Times, the visual shows a crossword puzzle—right on the front of a large, frosty penguin. The puzzling ad is plainly designed to evoke last year’s ads for March of the Penguins—a monster box-office smash which produced a big pile of cold cash.

For the record, this “ad’s-the-same” paean to penguin chic really does seem to work out. Al Gore’s important film, An Inconvenient Truth, adopted this same approach in its ads—and even now, in its ninth week, it was the tenth-biggest film in the country on both Tuesday and Wednesday nights of this week. Of course, the connection there is a bit more clear. Gore’s film features a frog and a polar bear, and they’re closely related to penguins.

Do penguins really work crossword puzzles, as the Wordplay ad seems to suggest? Could be! Morgan Freeman told us every other damn thing about the deep swimmers in last summer’s blecch-worthy voice-over. Let’s talk turkey: If penguins can do half the things Freeman said, why can’t they solve puzzles too?