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Nabi’s Gives us a Pep Talk 

Saw this ad on the Babyfirst TV channel last night when I was having the television babysit my child…again.  Even in my sleep deprived, wine-coma stupor I quickly came to attention when Nabi’s pep talk started.  This baby channel commercial is creepy from start to finish.  Here is my somewhat passive-aggressive critique…one day later:

The scene is quickly set with slow, hypnotic music as Nabi begins to speak.  

"Guys, look…I’m not angry….just disappointed.  You should know better."

It seems we are being lectured.  And by “we” I mean the motionless, chorus of tablets that dutifully listen to Nabi in this white, featureless sanctuary.  "We" are the dark-screened tablets, side by side in shame.   The Nabi is our focus.  But Nabi isn’t angry, Nabi speaks in a calm, confident tone.  

You can’t just add a bumper and 10 controls and say you’re made for kids.  

We’ve been had!  Nabi is calling us out on our feeble attempts to belong.  The qualities we possess are not unique…and in fact, they are mere imitations of Nabi, our apparent prophet.  Next comes the sermon.  

It’s about connections you create.  It’s about friendships you make.  It’s about being yourself.  

As our prohet Nabi tells us what “it’s” about,” a slow zoom starts in toward Nabi’s face.  And by "it," Nabi means the very nature of our being… the macrocosm…if you will.  This is getting heavy, especially for the baby channel!  Nabi says "it’s" about connections and friendships and being yourself…yet, here we are looking at the very devices that so many of us hide behind to avoid those things.  Naturally, we then move on to our internal beings.  

It’s what’s inside that counts.  Never stop trying.  

Here’s where the real pep talk kicks in.  Remember, Nabi isn’t mad at us….Nabi simply disapproves of us.  Nabi reassures us that our intentions are pure and that, despite our flaws, we should never stop trying.  And even though we are ugly on the outside, we have some value internally…right?  Nabi cares about us!  Nabi wants to help us!  After all, what is a prophet without disciples.  Our prophet gives us hope!

We were made to be awesome.  We were made for kids.  

Uh-oh…I don’t think “we” means “we” anymore.  By "we" Nabi seems to be referring only to Nabi.  After all, Nabi still stands alone on his side of the white sanctuary.  Alone in awesomeness.  Are we being hypnotized? This is evident now that the slow zoom has us staring hypnotically into Nabi’s face.  What was once a pep talk is now mind-control and condescension.  

Maybe you’re too young to understand.  When you grow up you’ll see.  

Clearly we are simpletons in the presence of magnificence.  Maybe we’re not supposed to understand Nabi’s greatness quite yet…but we should know enough to be completely enraptured.  Maybe our fascination with Nabi won’t fully be understood until we spend hours on end, mind-numbed in front of a Nabi.  Irregardless, it seems that this is gonna have to be a long relationship…right?

Now, a god-like narrator voice chimes in with the tagline:

Nabi…it’s more than a tablet…it’s a friend.”

Ahhhh!!!!  Freaky robot-friends in white rooms filled with choruses of dead-eyed, dead screened clones!  Who am I?  Who are you?  Who the f@ck  knows?  I guess we should all just buy a Nabi and play it safe before we end up lost and without friends.  

In conclusion, maybe I shouldn’t let the TV babysit my son anymore.  Maybe I need to be this central figure in his life….not the Nabi.  But I gotta tell you, one more sleepless night and I’m headed straight for toy store.  Maybe I’ll get a Nabi for me too!  

In the end we all need friends. 

- Dad