This advertisement breaks many cardinal rules of good design. For one, it is all over the place with font selection. It also attempts to contain the collective works of Tolstoy within its text. But it does what it is intended to do, rules be damned: it captures the attention of its intended audience. I recall these ads from my youth. Though atrociously verbose, I guarantee you I read every word. The ant farm was exactly the kind of amusement my daydreaming mind could get lost with.
When I look at the illustration I am curious about the thoughts of the children depicted. Little Johnny seems to stare through the glass at some point beyond. Perhaps he sees his future plans of world domination coming to fruition. Suzy is attentive. She has been hypnotized by her insect leaders and is listening to her orders before setting off to do their bidding.
A question to my readers: Do you recall the Exciting Ant Farm ad? Were you as fascinated by it as Suzy and I? or, were you, like Johnny, more concerned with crushing the ants beneath your heel?