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Tag: bolt

Woof in Advertising: Utterly unskippable

You know, probably all too well, those intrusive and uninvited advertisements that often precede viewing the videos you want to view on the Internet.

They are known as “pre-roll ads,” and I always do my best to make them disappear — both in terms of the videos I put on ohmidog!, and in terms of my own home viewing. I skip them the millisecond YouTube permits me to.

This one though, I’ve watched ten times, in its entirety.

The first five seconds of the Geico ad shows an all-too-typical family enjoying an all-too-typical spaghetti dinner, with the wife bragging about saving money on her insurance bill before the ad seems to culminate, at the five-second mark, in what at first appears to be an all-too-typical freeze frame.

That, as the family remains frozen — or at least tries to — is where the Saint Bernard comes in.


He eats spaghetti off the dad’s fork, climbs atop the table and clears the daughter’s plate, passes over the salad and spills a glass of milk as he proceeds to the the son’s plate, devouring its contents. Then he plunges his snout  into the serving dish mom is holding.

The ad doesn’t really make me want to find out if 15 seconds can save me 15 percent on my insurance bill, but it’s brilliant — and further proof that dogs have a way of holding our attention, especially dogs behaving badly.

The ad was filmed in Los Angeles last month, and the dog, whose real name is Bolt, is a Saint Bernard mix.

If you find it impossible to skip, that was exactly the goal — to keep people riveted, even though it’s a form of advertising most of us detest.

“We call these unskippable,” Joe Alexander, chief creative officer at The Martin Agency, told USA Today. The agency has created three other mock freeze-frame Geico spots.

“Our goal is to bring attention to Geico in a space that is often hated,” he said.

(You can find more of our “Woof  in Advertising” posts — about how marketers use dogs in advertising — here.)

Pup fiction: Travolta stars in new dog movie

John Travolta has played a sympathetic hit man, a teenage rebel, a middle-aged biker, a presidential candidate, a disco king and an overweight housewife — and let’s not forget Vinnie Barbarino on “Welcome Back, Kotter” — but the newly released “Bolt,” is both his first animated feature and his first time playing a dog.

“Bolt” — a movie about a dog with “superpowers” that features the voices of Travolta and Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana — opened across the United States on Friday.

Travolta, 54, is the voice of Bolt, an eager-to-please puppy. It’s a role Travolta said comes more naturally to him than the cool cat he often plays.

“Growing up, people always compared me to a dog in those games about what kind of animal you’d be,” Travolta said. “As a person, I’m probably a dog — I’m big on loyalty,” he told Reuters. “But on screen I’m more of a cool cat. If you think of my roles in ‘Pulp Fiction’ or ‘Saturday Night Fever’ or ‘Grease’ — he’s more of cat. But in life, I’m more of a cuddler.”

There’s a quick clip from the movie in the video above of Travolta’s recent appearance on “The Early Show” on CBS.

Travolta also sings a duet with Cyrus on the “I Thought I Lost You” theme tune to “Bolt.”

Bolt is the powerful and confident star of a kids action series on TV. But when he becomes separated from his beloved “person” (voiced by Miley Cyrus), he discovers that his superbark and laser vision are mere Hollywood magic and he must get by in the real world like any other four-legged creature.