This year’s crop of Super Bowl ads was disappointing — and not just because there weren’t enough commercials with dogs in them.
I counted two ads in which dogs played a significant role, compared to nearly a dozen featuring celebrities, among them Alec Baldwin, Jeff Goldblum, Helen Mirren, Amy Schumer, Anthony Hopkins, Seth Rogen, Christopher Walken, Kevin Hart, Willem Dafoe, Liam Neeson, Ryan Reynolds and Drake.
And throw in a dizzying amount of special effects.
Yes, there was that stampede of dachshunds, all in hot dog costumes, making a mad dash for the Heinz family of condiments:
And there were those dogs scheming on how to get their paws on some of the Doritos displayed in the grocery store.
Neither of those knocked me out, and they pale in comparison with some of the far more funny, far more human, dog ads of previous Super Bowls.
Several other ads featured dogs in small supporting roles — in an ad with singing sheep, and in one where a town seems to occupied nearly entirely by clones of Ryan Reynolds (as if we’re not already seeing enough of the real one of him).
Then, too, a dog was part — and I do mean part — of my least favorite dog-related Super Bowl ad.
Mountain Dew, in an ad for its new beverage, Kick Start, unveiled a puppy-monkey-baby that looked like it would be more at home in a bad acid trip. I can only assume its creators had a little too much Kick Start during their creative process.
I didn’t keep a tally, but I’m pretty sure monstrous or otherwise fictional creatures far outnumbered dogs in this year’s ads — just as special effects far outnumbered moments of humanity, and flash far outdistanced substance.
I won’t show you the worst of them — that pink blob of bulging intestines wandering the stadium in search of a free bathroom. Nor will I mention the name the prescription drug it advertised. I’ll just remind you that Super Bowl ads cost $5 million per spot — and that’s just for the time.
Throw in the production costs involved with having a celebrity or animated intestinal blob tout your product and you’ll begin to understand why you probably won’t be paying bargain prices for anti-diarrhea meds or your next Hyundai.
All in all, Super Bowl ads this year left me unimpressed, feeling a little cold, and feeling a little old. They often left me creeped out — and I include the “Super Bowl babies” in that group. (Is the NFL so hard up for something to brag about that it must boast that the big game makes people copulate?)
This year’s ads left me longing for some of those ads of previous years — when dogs were dogs, and men were men, and internal organs stayed inside us.
Not being a big fan of talking dogs, dogs in costume, or dogs being part of some monstrous hyperactive multi-species hybrid, I didn’t really have a favorite dog ad among them.
Instead, I’d have to give this year’s top honors to the Subaru ads featured during the Puppy Bowl.
(You can find more of our Woof in Advertising posts here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 8th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advertising, alec baldwin, amy schumer, animals, Anthony Hopkins, baby, celebrities, Christopher Walken, commercials, dogs, dogs in advertising, doritos, Drake, heinz, Helen Mirren, humanity, hyundai, intestines, Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Hart, kia, kick start, Liam Neeson, marketing, monkey, mountain dew, pets, puppy, puppy bowl, puppy monkey baby, puppymonkeybaby, Ryan Reynolds, Seth Rogen, special effects, subaru, super bowl, super bowl 50, super bowl ads, Willem Dafoe, woof in advertising
It’s that (one) time of year that we get excited about commercials — and while those that air during the Super Bowl always get the most hype, Subaru is again focusing its advertising efforts on the Puppy Bowl.
Five new ads showcasing the Barkleys, the family of retrievers that first rolled onto the scene in 2013, will be airing in coming weeks and during Puppy Bowl XII on Animal Planet.
The ads are part of Subaru’s “Dog Tested Dog Approved” campaign.
The ads do a great job of intertwining quirky human behavior and quirky dog behavior with some highly laughable results.
In “Phone Navigation,” the Barkleys try to communicate with their smartphone voice assistant, but run into a bit of a language barrier.
“Puppy” shows the Barkleys taking a nighttime drive to try to get their little one to sleep.
And in “Bad Hair Day” Dad picks up Mom from the hair salon and is unsure what to make of her makeover.
Subaru has long been at the forefront of car companies catering to dog owners.
“Subaru and its customers have a deep connection to pets. Eight out of 10 Subaru owners are pet owners, and our brand continues to support the causes and initiatives that our customers care about,” said Alan Bethke, vice president of marketing at Subaru of America.
(Woof in Advertising is a semi-regular feature on ohmidog! that looks at how dogs are used in marketing. You can find more posts here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 1st, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ads, advertising, animals, barkleys, commercials, dogs, dogs in advertising, marketing, pets, puppy bowl, puppy bowl XII, retrievers, smartphone, subaru, super bowl, video, woof in advertising
That trio of sassy grandmothers currently being featured in a series of Volkswagen ads has a new traveling companion — a Chiweenie with an overbite — and true to his name (Tuna) he’s stinking up the place.
In the ad, the grandmas detect an odor in the vehicle, which they at first blame on it being diesel-powered. After some continued sniffing, they determine the real source of the foul smell: It’s Tuna.
Tuna — that’s his real name — had achieved some major fame even before appearing in the ad, with more than 1.5 million followers on his Instagram page.
And he’s already published his own book, “Tuna Melts My Heart: The Underdog with an Overbite.”
According to that website, Tuna is a 4 year-old Chiweenie (Chihuahua-dachshund mix) with an exaggerated overbite who was rescued in 2010 by Courtney Dasher at a Farmers Market in LA.
Within a year, Dasher created an Instagram account dedicated to Tuna’s photos. By the end of 2012, he had hundreds of thousands of followers.
Dasher said her goal was to “bring people joy through Tuna’s pictures that showcased his cartoonish looks and his charming personality.”
“Since Tuna is the epitome of the underdog, most people advocate for him and adore him for his endearing qualities. His loyal followers embrace his physical differences, have fallen in love with his charm and connect to his message; that true beauty comes in all forms and radiates from within.
“Furthermore, he is an ambassador for animal rescue, since he too was once rescued, and it has become a part of Courtney’s mission to raise awareness for rescue groups through this platform.”
Dasher met Tuna at an adoption event after he’d been found discarded on the side of the road near San Diego.
You can find more of our “Woof in Advertising” posts — looking at how dogs are used in marketing – here.
Posted by John Woestendiek August 20th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ad, ads, advertising, animals, book, chihuahua, chiweenie, courtney dasher, dachshund, diesel, dogs, dogs in advertising, facebook, grandmas, grandmothers, instagram, marketing, mix, odor, overbite, pets, photos, sassy, smell, tuna, tuna melts my heart, tunameltsmyheart, twitter, volkswagen, woof in advertising, woof!
Among many “old school” and unprofitable practices here at ohmidog! is my tendency to treat advertisers like well-trained, perhaps overly-trained, dogs — insisting they stay in their place and don’t dare venture into our editorial columns.
I will let my big old dog in bed with me, and I gladly do so every single night. But when it comes to advertisers, don’t even think about it.
So what’s this T-shirt doing here — in the space that I, way too ethical for my own good, so haughtily reserve for news matter?
For one thing, it’s kind of cool.
For another, with these T-shirts being the biggest ad ever to appear on our pages, I thought it would be a good time to explain this website’s approach to advertising.
(It is not one I recommend to anyone seeking to make money through their website.)
Basically, this middle section of the website is for news, and despite many requests from advertisers to link to their services and products here, I just don’t do it, because it strikes me as sleazy and deceptive.
The rightside column, with all those logos, is for non-profit animal welfare and animal rescue groups, and serves to link the public to their websites. There is no fee for that.
The leftside column, the one clearly marked “advertisements” is for, you guessed it, advertisements.
When ohmidog! started, seven years ago, the hope was that advertising would cover the costs, and maybe even lead to a profit.
That almost worked when we were headquartered in, and focused on, Baltimore.
Then we went and hit the road and ended up living in North Carolina. A few of those local Baltimore ads remain, but I no longer charge those advertisers — partly out of gratitude for helping us get off the ground, partly because fewer Baltimore eyes will see their ads.
Today, most of our ads, including the t-shirt ad at the top, are what are called affiliate ads.
The advertisers pay nothing for them, but if a reader clicks on one of them, and ends up buying something during that visit, the company sends a percentage of their profits my way — generally pennies on the dollar.
So far, those pennies haven’t amounted to much. And as business models go, ohmidog! — even when I wanted it to make money — has always been a prime example of how not to run a website.
We’ve always been all about the content (though I prefer the word “stories), and, while I don’t promise much else, we always will be — without any ads popping up on you, without any links misdirecting you.
What I started out doing for fun and profit, is pretty much becoming just about the fun.
In the months ahead, I’ll qualify for — and plan to start receiving — early social security. So I can only make so much money before having to turn over all the rest to the government.
So, if you must buy a T-shirt, go ahead and click on it, or any of the others now featured in our banner ad.
Just don’t buy too many.
(Photo: The I Love Dogs Site / Sunfrog.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 11th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ads, advertising, affiliate, animals, business, dog, dog websites, dogs, editorial, ethics, love, ohmidog!, pets, profits, rescue, t-shirts, websites
Leave it to a tissue-making company to come up with a tear-jerking dog ad.
And while I’m surprised it has taken them this long, I’m very glad they did.
This Kleenex social marketing video features Chance, a dog who was left partially paralyzed after he was hit by a car. He was scheduled to be euthanized when a San Antonio rescue organization pulled him from the shelter and found him a home.
That home was with Mike, who isn’t “wheelchair-bound” by any means, but also uses one to get around.
“My husband was like we have to get him because nobody is going to love him like we’re going to love him,” his wife Stacey recalls.
San Antonio Pets Alive reports on its blog that Chance was “more than ready to be in the spotlight.”
The video depicts how Chance and Mike don’t let too many things get in their way, and how they seem to bring out the best in each other.
“I knew his struggles as well as mine, and I knew we could overcome those obstacles together,” said Mike.
“The difference Chance makes in my life is the happiness and the courage to know that there isn’t anything that anybody can’t do.”
(This series looks at how dogs are used in advertising. You can find more of our “Woof in Advertising” posts here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 30th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ads, advertisements, advertising, animals, chance, commercials, disability, dogs, in, kleenex, marketing, pets, san antonio pets alive, social media, wheelchairs, woof in advertising, woof!
I have not yet come to fully understand these feelings I have for Trivago Man.
I’m a heterosexual male, yet I will admit I find him quite appealing.
Perhaps it’s that his face has more character than the average shill pushing a product on TV. Perhaps it’s how he always looks at least a little disheveled, rumpled even, and less than smoothly shaved.
Maybe it’s because he’s sooooo laid back. Or because you just know that — behind his charming smile, tight shirt and beltless jeans — there lies a very sensitive side.
That side is played up a little more in this commercial for Trivago, the travel arrangement website based in Dusseldorf, Germany, that seems to be running its ads on every channel in America.
Wouldn’t you just know it, Trivago man has to have a dog.
And not a big dog. Trivago man doesn’t need a gigantic vehicle or large dog to prove his masculinity. A Chihuahua is sufficient for him.
He’s a non-threatening sort, not supremely arrogant, not overly slick, not particularly young. He seems to be in, or just past, mid-life crisis age, but has kept, I’d guess, a calm and even keel through all that has thrown at him.
He’s just not your typical shiny TV guy. He appears as if he skipped going to make-up before coming into the studio, as if he may even have missed showering yesterday.
As one blogger wrote about him, “He’s so real you can practically smell the tobacco on the tips of his fingers.”
Maybe what’s so appealing about Trivago man is that he — even though he’s an advertising character — is so real.
Only one thing could have made him more real — a dog.
So it really should come as no big surprise that Trivago man got Lucky.
(You can find more of our “Woof in Advertising” posts here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek June 4th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advertising, animals, chihuahua, dog, dogs, dogs in advertising, lucky, marketing, media, pets, pitchman, spokesman, television, travel, trivago, trivago dude, trivago man, website, woof in advertising
We love dogs. We love depictions of interspecies harmony. And danged if we don’t love Roger Miller.
So even though its cast is made up of various members of the animal kingdom — not just the dogs we normally feature in our “Woof in Advertising” pieces — we’re pretty crazy about this recent ad for Android phones.
We especially like the tagline: “Be Together. Not the Same.”
The ad doesn’t make me want to buy an Android phone.
But it does make me happy.
How can such scenes of interspecies friendship not make you joyful, especially when you throw in the phrase “Ooda Lalley?
(According to Urban Dictionary, it’s a term popularized in the 1950s, meaning yay or yippee.)
Now all we have to do is figure out what “Do-Wacka-Do” means, and whether it’s possible that — with enough interspecies harmony — we CAN roller skate in a buffalo herd.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 20th, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advertisement, advertising, android, animals, be together not the same, commercial, dogs, friendship, harmony, interspecies, marketing, ooda lalley, orangutan, pets, phone, relationship, robin hood and little john, roger miller, roscoe, song, suryia, woof in advertising