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
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!
This isn’t a new ad from Pepsi, but it’s a memorable one — and a reminder to all those who own both a cat and a dog that, when anything mysteriously goes awry at home, it’s always the cat’s fault.
Yes, no doubt about it, clearly the cat’s fault.
(Woof in Advertising is an occasional feature on ohmidog! that looks at how dogs are used in marketing. To see more Woof in Advertising posts, click here)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 19th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ad, advertisements, advertisers, advertising, animals, blame, cat, commercials, dog, dogs, fault, golden retriever, marketing, media, pepsi, pets, sandwich, video, woof in advertising, woof!
This is a sweet little commercial for Chevrolet — quite reminiscent of one for Subaru — that follows, though in reverse, a young woman’s bond with her dog.
The tagline: Chevrolet, “a best friend for life’s journey.”
We’d hope, for your sake, your car isn’t your best friend.
Cars and dogs do have some things in common — the high cost of keeping them running, the constant feeding, the licensing requirements, and the fact that they are nearly always at our side. And they do both produce some exhaust.
But, otherwise, there’s really no comparison.
The dog loves you unconditionally. The car has air conditioning. Your dog will offer up a soft and furry paw. Your car is a metal hunk that will tell you to put your seat belt on. Your dog has a soul. Your car has a transmission.
Nevertheless, in our ongoing monitoring of the use of dogs in advertising, we’ve noticed automobile companies seem to be trying harder and harder to get you to think of your car as a dog — loyal, dependable, always there.
They’d like you to have that same powerful bond with their brand of automobiles in the hopes that, when you have to put the old Chevrolet down, you’ll go out and get another one of the same breed.
This ad — though it wasn’t the winner — was one of 72 submissions in the Chevrolet Mofilm Short Film Program. The program allows filmmakers from around the world to submit a short movie, with the winner’s ad being aired during the Oscars.
To see some of our other Woof in Advertising posts, click here.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 21st, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: a best friend for life's journey, ads, animals, automobiles, best friend, bond, chevrolet, commercials, contest, dog, dogs, dogs and cars, dogs in advertising, envy, maddie, marketing, media, mofilm, pets, short film program, subaru, woof in advertising
I don’t remember seeing this Doritos ad during the Super Bowl. Maybe it came later in the game, after the outcome was clear and I tuned out, which as I recall was shortly after the first snap.
Had I seen it, I would have squawked in a more timely manner, because — even though fans chose it as a favorite — I do not like it at all.
Dog riding, like dogfighting and dog racing, is cruel.
And even though special effects were used in this depiction of a kid saddling up on the family mastiff — so he can beat his brother to the bag of Doritos — it sends a bad message to kids (and grown-ups) who don’t know any better.
The ad was one of five finalists chosen in the Crash the Super Bowl ad contest, in which Doritos invites the public to submit their home-made Doritos ads and awards $1 million to the winning commerical.
The “Cowboy Kid” ad came in second, but that was enough to win its creator, Amber Gill, a 34-year-old vocal coach from California, $25,000, a trip to the Super Bowl and a movie contract — and a little criticism from animal welfare types.
Both “Cowboy Kid” and the winning fan-made commercial, “Time Machine,” aired during the Super Bowl and were viewed by an estimated 100 million viewers, minus those who gave up on the big game early on.
Still, given a few of those 100 million are likely stupid or naive enough to try this at home — as any regular reader of this website knows — I’d have to side with those who are complaining about the ad. While making it didn’t involve any dog being ridden, it’s irresponsible ad-making.
Gill told the Orange County Register the idea was inspired by her owns sons, aged 3 and 1, meaning — we’re pretty sure — the sibling rivalry aspect, as opposed to the dog-riding one.
So we’ll have to give this ad a failing grade, and point out — because, unfortunately, it’s not entirely needless to say — don’t try this at home.
If junior needs to get his cowboy on, we’d suggest a saw horse, or daddy’s back. Otherwise, that crunch you hear might not be Doritos.
(To see more of our Woof in Advertising posts, click here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 27th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, children, commercials, cowboy, cowboy kid, crash the super bowl, dangerous, dogs, dogs in advertising, doritos, marketing, pets, riding dogs, safety, super bowl, super bowl ads, woof in advertising
I predict this 60-second Budweiser commercial is going to cause more tears than any fumble, any interception, or even the final outcome of Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Called “Puppy Love,” the ad depicts a special friendship between a yellow lab puppy and a group of Clydesdales.
As the storyline goes, the puppy and the Clydesdales have become best of interspecies friends while residing at “Warm Springs Puppy Adoption Center.”
When his new owner finally gets him in the car and takes off, the Clydesdales stage a coup.
They chase after the car as the pup sadly looks back out the window. They block the car’s path, and the next thing we see is pup and Clydesdales happily trotting back to the farm.
It’s all set to the tune of “Let Her Go” by Passenger.
The ad was posted on YouTube four days before Super Bowl XLVIII, and in less than a day it was viewed by more than 4 million.
(WIA is an occasional feature in ohmidog! that looks at how dogs are used in advertising)
Posted by John Woestendiek January 30th, 2014 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 2014 super bowl, ad, adoption, ads, advertisements, advertising, animals, budweiser, clydesdales, commercials, dogs, dogs and horses, dogs in advertising, farm, friendship, heartwarming, horses and dogs, interspecies, labrador retriever, let her go, passenger, pets, puppy love, super bowl, super bowl 2014, super bowl XLVIII, video, warm springs puppy adoption center, woof in advertising, yellow lab