Here’s the latest ad from Travelers Insurance, which has a long tradition of featuring dogs in its commercials, most often a mixed breed named Chopper.
In this one, Chopper has a special bone that is the envy of all the neighborhood dogs, and while he seems to be intent on keeping it for himself, and away from the other dogs, he actually has something else in mind.
While Chopper is clearly the star dog in Travelers’ stable, we see much promise in another of the canine actors appearing in this one; namely, the Boston terrier. Check out his smile at the end.
This ad features the song “What I Want This Season” by Orba Squara.
To see all of our “Woof in Advertising” posts, click here.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 7th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ad, advertisements, animals, bone, boston terrier, breed, chopper, commercials, dogs, dogs in advertising, marketing, mixed breed, pets, sharing, travelers, travelers insurance, travelers insurance dog, video, what breed, woof in advertising
I base this report mostly on advertisements shown during the first half of last night’s Super Bowl — for I began to tire during Madonna’s BRIDGESTONE halftime show.
In the first half of the game, I kept track of ads, and according to my tally — and in accordance with my predictions — dogs were theme No. 1 in this year’s Big Game commercials, topping that perennial favorite, sex.
By halftime, we’d seen the controversial SKECHERS greyhound racing ad — mildly funny, at best — VOLKSWAGEN’S “Bark Side” and a DORITO ad featuring a Great Dane (above) who gives his owner some chips to buy his silence regarding the family cat’s mysterious disappearance.
Dogs played smaller supporting roles in two other ads by then, so at halftime I had it scored this way:
Dogs five, Sex three.
While sex seemed to be gaining in the second half, it scored only three times in the first, with GO DADDY’S body painting bit, David Beckham promoting either underpants or himself (I’m still not sure), and an ad featuring model Adriana Lima for the flower delivery outfit, TELEFLORA. Lima, once she is dressed, explains to us that, on Valentine’s Day, and perhaps all other days, men must give to “receive.”
Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.
To me, that one was far more offensive than the Skechers ad, which an anti-greyhound racing group was protesting because it was filmed at a greyhound park with a poor safety record, and because they thought it would glorify a sport it finds cruel to animals.
In it, Mr. Quiggly, a French bulldog wearing athetic shoes, bests a group of greyhounds at a racetrack, winning by such a large margin that he pauses and then moonwalks backwards across the finish line — sort of like the Giants final touchdown, that touchdown they didn’t really want.
Still, scoring is everything, as the Teleflora ad tells us: Spend money on a female, perhaps in the form of a nice bouquet, and you will get you some.
Running just behind dogs and sex was the theme of death, destruction and other matters apocalyptic, including ads for several doomsday movies and one for cars that, along with their owners, survived the end of the world.
In fourth place were cute babies. Both DORITO and ETRADE ran baby ads in the first half — the latter featuring the now famous market-savvy talking baby, the former featuring a baby fired from a sling to grab a bag of chips.
DORITOS — though its dog-related ads often have a bit of a mean streak (like last year’s of a taunted pug smashing through a door) — scored with a second dog ad in the second half, depicting a dog park where humans perform tricks and line up for a salty treat.
Our pick of the litter? Weego, the rescued mutt who, whenever he is called – “Here, Weego!” — responds by fetching a BUD LIGHT for the caller. That’s not exactly new ground in beer advertising, but this time, the star was a rescued mutt, a scrawny little dog who oozed far more personality than any of the personalities in the Super Bowl ads, like Mark Cuban, Donald Trump and Clint Eastwood. Better yet, the ad included a pitch for rescuing dogs — and referred viewers to a Facebook page where they could learn more.
Also making a strong showing were “inspirational” ads from GE, celebrating the American worker, and at least two beer ads that seemed to be celebrating the end of prohibition, nearly 80 years ago.
The most powerful, and curious, advertisement shown during the Super Bowl was Clint Eastwood’s pitch for CHRYSLER (or was it for America?). The ad shows dismal-looking footage of Detroit as Eastwood tells us, “It’s halftime in America.” Then he goes on to talk about the resilience of Americans — how, via our bootstraps and given our inner strength, we can pick ourselves up and overcome anything.
It was a moody, somber but hopeful, piece — and maybe a tad ironic given the government bailout Chrysler received decades ago.
It was not an ad I wanted to hoist a celebratory drink to — after all, if it were truly halftime in America, that would mean we’d only have 235 years left – but it was definitely one that made me want to drink.
(For all our “Woof in Advertising” posts, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek February 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 2012, adriana lima, ads, advertisements, advertising, america, apocalypse, babies, bark side, bolt, bud light, budweiser, chrysler, clint eastwood, commercials, david beckham, dog park, dogs, dogs in advertising, donald trump, doomsday, doritos, etrade, french bulldog, giants, go daddy, great dane, greyhound racing, greyhounds, half time, halftime, here weego, mark cuban, mr quiggly, mutt, patriots, personalities, sex, skechers, super bowl, telefora, themes, volkswagen, weego, woof in advertising
The assault against the Humane Society of the United States has become a double-barreled one, with two groups publicly urging Americans to donate their money to individual animal shelters instead of the national animal welfare organization.
HumaneWatch, a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), is issuing a “consumer alert,” in the form of a national television ad (above), reminding Americans to be wary of “the deceptive fundraising practices of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).”
The television ad campaign comes a week after the newly formed Humane Society for Shelter Pets (HSSP) took out full page ads in national newspapers, making the same claim.
Both groups have a connection to Washington lobbyist Richard Berman. He’s the founder and operator of the CCF, and acknowledges that his public relations firm helped get HSSP of the ground.
Both the Humane Watch and HSSP ads make the point that only 1 percent of money donated to HSUS ends up going to care for cats and dogs at local shelters, even though those animals are most commonly featured in HSUS fundraising appeals.
CCF says it examined 28 HSUS ads that ran from January 2009 through September 2011 and found that more than 85 percent of the animals shown in the ads were shelter dogs and cats.
Humane Watch says HSUS fundraising appeals perpetuate the misperception that HSUS is an organization that primarily supports pet shelters.
“HSUS uses emotionally manipulative ads to raise money on the backs of abandoned and abused dogs and cats, yet it gives just one penny of each dollar it raises to local pet shelters,” said CCF Senior Research Analyst J. Justin Wilson. “HumaneWatch.org wants to ensure that donations go to support the cause donors intend. If they want their dollars to aid cats and dogs in their community they should give directly to local pet shelters instead of inadvertently bankrolling HSUS’s aggressive animal rights agenda.”
HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle denies that HSUS advertising is misleading, and while he doesn’t dispute that only 1 percent of donations are passed on to local shelters, points out that the organization’s mission extends to protecting all animals, and that much more money is spent on its dog-related campaigns, such as those against dogfighting and puppy mills.
Last week, on his blog, Pacelle blasted Berman – both professionally and personally – portraying him as intent on undermining the reputation of HSUS because many of its causes run contrary to industries Berman represents:
In forming his new group, [Rick Berman] hasn’t come out and said he likes cruelty. He’s hoping you forgot his efforts to defend sealing, puppy mills, and other forms of abuse. But today, by saying all animal welfare money should go to animal shelters, he’s saying that no money should go to combat puppy mills, animal fighting ventures, factory farms, captive hunts, the exotic animal trade, the fur trade, or other animal welfare problems.
Berman repeated Pacelle’s above remark, and Pacelle’s references to him as a “con man” and “king of charity fraud,” on his blog — at the same time labeling those comments libelous:
“… I realized last week that when it comes to ‘nasty,’ I’m a novice. If you really want to learn something about how to wage a nasty (and I mean vicious) battle, look no further than Wayne Pacelle, CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). In the past his organization has hired people to stalk and photograph me at my home, hired unemployed journalists to write hit pieces about me, filed erroneous and failed ethics complaints, and he has made reams of false and libelous claims about my organization’s motives and our funders. But recently he’s taken his personal brand of intimidation and harassment to a whole new level.”
Bermann acknowledged that his firm, Berman and Company, helped get HSSP off the ground. But he said while he supports new organization, he neither runs nor manages it.
Berman contacted ohmidog! last week, demanding that Pacelle’s “false and defamatory” remarks be removed from this website. We declined to do so, but did offer to publish his response in its entirety.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ads, advertisements, allegations, animal welfare, animals, barbs, blogs, campaign, cats, ccf, center for consumer freedom, deceptive, discredit, dogs, donations, fundraising, funds, hssp, hsus, humane society for shelter pets, humane society of the united states, humane watch, libel, media, pets, reputation, response, richard berman, shelters, wayne pacelle
This could get ugly, if it hasn’t already.
This week, a newly formed national organization called The Humane Society for Shelter Pets (HSSP) began making itself known, with full-page ads in national newspapers aimed at discouraging people from contributing to the Humane Society of the United States.
The new organization’s point: HSUS, despite public service ads that seem to indicate it helps dogs and cats in shelters, provides little direct funding to local shelters, which need help more than ever.
While polls show 71 percent of Americans believe HSUS is affiliated, represents or helps fund local humane societies, HSSP says “the reality is that just 1 percent of HSUS’s $126 million budget goes to needy hands-on pet shelters.”
“The Humane Society of the United States continues to fundraise on the perception that they give millions of dollars every year to local pet shelters with misleading advertising campaigns. Unfortunately for the dogs and cats in our local pet shelters, that is not the case,” said Diana Culp, HSSP co-director. (Culp is a former director of education for HSUS and former supervisor of animal control in Frederick County, Maryland.)
HSSP, while noting on its website that it doesn’t contribute directly to shelters, either, does provide a database enabling visitors to obtain all the information they need to donate to local shelters.
However philanthropic that may be, and whether or not you agree with HSSP that HSUS is misleading the public in its fundraising approach, HSSP may not be the angelic organization it makes itself out to be.
For one thing, it has ties to Richard Berman, who, through his Center for Consumer Freedom, has been a long-time, highly vocal critic of HSUS. Berman has raised millions from industries that, at least in the view of HSUS, are cruel and abusive to animals.
In response to the HSSP ads — they’ve appeared this week in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and New York Times – HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle fired back earlier this week.
On his blog, A Humane Nation, Pacelle, called Berman a “king of charity fraud,” and went so far as to show a photo of Berman’s mansion in McLean, Virginia.
“He sets up phony front groups to do the dirty work of bad actors in industry. He takes their money and then takes on their critics. He runs ‘charitable’ organizations, like the Center for Consumer Freedom (which fights The HSUS), the American Beverage Institute (which fights Mothers Against Drunk Driving), and the Center for Union Facts (which attacks public employees and unions), yet his groups don’t feed one animal, shelter one homeless person, or provide any other tangible social service.
“They are charitable organizations in name only, and Berman and his for-profit public relations company pocket a large share or even a majority of the total revenue. It’s a personal enrichment scam of the highest order, and he’s the architect of the con job. He’s got the mansion in McLean, Va., and the Bentley in the driveway as the spoils, with his accountant wife standing by to tally the profits.”
Pacelle said the HSUS has never presented itself as an umbrella agency that funds local shelters, and he points out that HSUS television ads include a small-print disclaimer: “Local humane societies are independent from HSUS.”
While the HSSP ad states that HSUS gave just 1 percent of the $131 million in donations it received last year to local shelters, Pacelle says that figure doesn’t include the campaigns HSUS has conducted nationally and globally to fight such things as puppy mills, dogfighting, animal cruelty laws and pet overpopulation.
Pacelle says about 20 percent of the Humane Society’s efforts involve companion animal issues, and that, in the last five years, HSUS has given more than $43 million in grants to other animal organizations.
Berman, while not listed as an official of HSSP, has been hired to do its public relations work and to help bring HSSP “to fruition,” said HSSP Co-Director Jeffrey Douglas.
“… HSSP is a product of the efforts of a group of individuals with deep ties to the animal welfare community and dedicated to improving the well-being of shelter animals across the country,” he added. “Who we hired as our PR firm should be immaterial to the project.”
As Pacelle sees it, though, Berman is its backbone: “Now, this Beltway con artist — who has probably spent as much time as anyone in recent years fighting against animal welfare — has formed a new supposed animal welfare charity … He’s the man behind the curtain … He’s reached a new level of fraud and deception.”
Pacelle said that between CCF and HSSP, Berman’s outfits have taken out 25 full page “attack” ads in national newspapers, at an estimated cost of $2 million.
Berman, meanwhile — whose full response to Pacelle’s comments can be found here — says HSSP has been welcomed “warmly” by the shelter community.
The question the HSSP ad raises is not entirely illegitimate: Are those heartstring-tugging HSUS ads, even with disclaimers, contributing to the misperception that the national organization helps foot the bill for all local shelters that call themself by that name?
But a question can also be asked of the HSSP: If you really care about animals, why not, instead of those full page ads, send that $2 million to animal shelters?
Posted by jwoestendiek December 2nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ads, advertisements, animal cruelty, animals, attack, campaigns, causes, center for consumer freedom, charities, chicago tribune, con man, diana culp, dogs, donate, donations, fight, formed, full page ads, fund raising, funding, hssp, hsus, humane society for shelter pets, humane society of the united states, industries, jeffrey douglas, lobbyist, local, local shelters, logo, los angeles times, misleading, misperceptions, money, national, new york times, newly, non profits, perceptions, pets, politics, polls, psas, public, public service announcements, richard berman, shelters, wayne pacelle
No company — I will go out on a limb, with an umbrella, and say — churns out as many excellent doggy commercials as Travelers Insurance, and here’s their latest.
In this one, the much-loved Travelers dog finds true love, and confronts the responsibilities that often follow.
For those uptight sorts who might worry it fails to send the proper spay-neuter message, I’d say lighten up, because this ad is just too cute to criticize.
Like the company’s previous dog ads, this one is top notch, from its production values, to its story line, to all the small touches — like when the dogs’ eyes first meet, their frolicking courtship, and the Travelers dog returning home to see, in bone-dropping disbelief, that he’s now a daddy.
I especially like, at the end, the little addition built on the doghouse.
The creators of the ads also have a knack for picking out good background songs. This particular one, “So Happy Together,” by the Turtles — hard to believe it’s 45 years old — is one of my old favorites.
It’s almost enough to make me switch insurers. When it comes to insurance company ads, I mute them all – Geico’s talking lizard, the somberly deep-voiced State Farm spokesman, and the annoyingly perky Progressive lady.
Some, like Allstate’s villainous mayhem guy, instantly repulsed me; others like the lizard, have just become too old.
Dog ads, the good ones at least, never do.
(All of our Woof in Advertising selections can be found archived here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ads, advertisements, allstate, animals, commercials, dog, dogs, dogs in advertising, family, geico, insurance, love, marketing, pets, progressive, puppies, responsibility, so happy together, songs, state farm, travelers, travelers dog, turtles, woof in advertising
Not everybody who uses dogs in their advertising is out to make a quick buck. Some of the best commercials starring dogs are produced for animal welfare organizations to promote adoptions, like this one for LAAnimalServices.com.
It’s subtle, understated, well-acted and well-conceived. Rather than grab for your heartstrings, it reaches for your funny bone. We especially like the tagline:
“If only everyone saw you the way your dog does.”
All of our “Woof in Advertising” selections can be found archived here.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ad, adopt, adoptions, advertisements, advertising, animal welfare, animals, commericals, dog, dogs, funny, la animal services, marketing, pets, police, ticket, traffic stop, video, woof in advertising
Ameriquest was one of America’s leading wholesale lending companies, one that’s said to have been a prime contributor to the economic mess we’re in now.
It advertised on blimps, sponsored the Rolling Stones 2005 U.S. tour, backed NASCAR drivers and, for a while, The Texas Rangers’ stadium bore its name. It advertised heavily on television.
“Proud sponsor of the American dream” was one of its slogans; “Do the right thing,” another.
“Don’t Judge Too Quickly” was the catchphrase of one of its advertising series, which included this one, in which a man finishes lunch in the park with his dog, then drops his dessert — a brownie — on the ground.
He’s just picking it up from behind his dog when a woman and her granddaughter see him, and watch as he takes a bite.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 28th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ads, advertisements, advertising, ameriquest, animals, brownie, commercials, company, dogs, dogs in advertising, funny, judge, mortgage, pets, video, woof in advertising
Finally, we get to dogs being used to advertise something for dogs.
I love this one from Fiproguard, especially the dog’s fashion sense (I, too, dislike the V-neck sweater) and the dog’s expression at the very end.
I’m not sure I want any Fiproguard, but — unwieldy as it is — I’d definitely like to have that that dog mind-reading device.
All of our “Woof in Advertising” selections can be found archived here.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 27th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: advertisements, animals, commericals, device, dogs, dogs in advertising, fiproguard, fleas, marketing, mind reading, pets, ticks, video, woof in advertising
Here’s a Chevrolet ad I’d never seen until recent weeks.
When his master dreams he’s taking his Camaro for his spin, the dog decides to get in on the action. With no window to stick his head out of, he gets up, walks over to the edge of the bed and sticks his head in front of the fan to soak up the breeze.
It’s a simple concept, but one that — intentionally or not — seems to capture part of the essence of dog, that being their unending agreeability: “Sure, I’ll go along with that. I’ll adapt. Whatever you say. Or dream.”
All of our “Woof in Advertising” selections can be found archived here.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 20th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ads, advertisements, advertising, animals, camaro, chevrolet, chevy, commercials, dog, dogs, dogs in advertising, dream, driving, fan, marketing, pets, sleep, woof in advertising
Brain Strong is a DHA supplement that promises to nourish your brain, helping you remember all those things little things that keep slipping your mind — like where you put your sunglasses.
In this ad, the dog, in addition to being a mind reader, has all the answers.
Of course, that’s no help — at least until they invent a pill that lets us understand what our dogs are telling us.
All of our “Woof in Advertising” selections can be found archived here.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ads, advertisements, advertising, brain strong, commercials, dha, dogs in advertising, forgetfulness, marketing, memory, memory boost, mind reader, supplement, woof in advertising