Continuing our review of the use of dogs in advertising, we look today at two ads from the same dog food company – one that’s cool, one that’s creepy.
It generally bothers me to see dogs being manipulated with special effects – in part because they’re special enough already, in part because it is usually done to make them appear more human.
Sometimes it seems we have trouble letting dogs be dogs, and insist on saddling them with the baggage of our own highly dysfunctional species.
The only special effect I find appealing when it comes to dogs in advertisements, or for that matter movies, is slow motion — used magnificently in the Pedigree commercial above.
Compare that to this one for Pedigree’s DentaStix, in which dogs, through special effects, are equipped with human dentures. I cringe every time I see it.
Pedigree has built a Denture Your Dog webpage where you can upload a photo of your dog, equip him or her with human dentures, then type in the words you want your dog to be saying.
Objectionable as we find that, we had to give it a try, so I uploaded an Ace picture and had him say how humiliating the whole thing was, scolding Pedigree in the process for its anthropomorphic — a word neither Ace nor I can say without computer assistance — ad.
I tried to post it to YouTube but couldn’t quite figure it out, being human.
In my view, the first ad is stellar. As for the doggie denture ad campaign I give it a thumbs down, even though it seems to have been highly popular.
The first increases our understanding of dogs, the second obfuscates it (another word I need computer assistance to both say and spell). “Blurs” would have been a better word choice.
The only half-joking point is, until we learn to be more responsible for the words that come out of our own mouths, maybe we shouldn’t be assuming the right to put them – or human dentures — in a dog’s.
All of our “Woof in Advertising” selections can be found archived here.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 3rd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advertising, animals, anthropomorphic, canine, commercials, creativity, dentastix, denture your dog, dentures, dog food, doggie, dogs, dogs in advertising, marketing, pedigree, pets, slow motion, treats, woof in advertising
Ace and I were strolling down Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey – a place where one can make a meal out of the free samples of clam chowder offered by hawkers trying to lure you into their establishments.
Rather than mooch samples all afternoon, though, and in need of more copious amounts of chowder, I started eyeing the restaurants, looking for an affordable one with outdoor seating — one that might permit Ace to sit with me and watch me while I ate.
That’s when the hostess at Cafe Fina called out. Well, she didn’t really call out — the city has cracked down on that practice. Instead she quietly and casually mentioned:
When I approached, she went on to explain that Cafe Fina had some pretty good human food, too, and how the restaurant grew many of its own vegetables and how they were organic.
But she had us at doggie menu.
It offered “Chicken a la pooch,” “Hungry pup’s half pounder,” “Hound dog heaven,” and a 14-ounce steak that went for $15.95
The hostess came out with a treat, which of course made Ace get unsituated, so that he might paw her arm in a gesture of affection, which really translated into “I’ll have that dog treat. NOW.”
With some work, I got him back down, but he was nearly trembling with excitement — if not in anticipation of the burger, at least by the noises and scents that emanated from the kitchen, which was on the other side of an open window just a few feet away.
Ace had other ideas.
He took a seat right in front of the window, watching intently as the chef ladled my clam chowder into the bread bowl, its severed lid covered with melted cheese and garlic.
Yes, we were luxuriating a bit — forgetting for the moment about our budgetary limits, and straying from our near steady diet of fast food “Value Meals.”
I saw no reason we couldn’t live it up — at least for one meal.
I think maybe we were both drooling a bit when it finally arrived.
His burger, cut into bite-sized chunks, was steaming, so I kept it on the tabletop for a minute. He waited impatiently — somehow seemingly knowing it was for him. Rather than just sit still and hope I’d toss him a piece, he was up and down, up and down, wriggling this way and that.
The check came to $17 — more than we’ve been spending on dinner, much less lunch.
How much was it worth?
Every penny of it.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 24th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, america, cafe fina, california, canine cuisine, clam chowder, dining, dining with dogs, dog, dog friendly, dog menu, dog's country, doggie, dogscountry, eating, fisherman's wharf, food, menu, monterey, restaurants, road trip, travel, travels with ace
“Recognizing the growing trend of canine traveling companions,” the New York hotel has debuted a “Canine Culinary” room service menu and “Fido-Friendly” package to welcome dogs to The Waldorf Towers.
“We have seen an increasing number of distinguished guests checking in with canine companions at their side,” stated Matt Zolbe, director of sales and marketing. “Recognizing that travel with pets is essential for many pet owners, we were inspired to launch a program catering to these guests’ unique needs.”
The Waldorf cited figures from the Travel Industry Association of America that show half of “adult leisure travelers” consider their pet to be part of the family, and nearly one in five take their pets with them when they travel.
Three cheers for the Waldorf — or maybe just two, because of that “distinguished guest” part. Shouldn’t every guest be distinguished? And shouldn’t every dog? And what — given the ongoing need they are boasting about filling — is with making the offer available only for a limited time? Is it a commitment or a gimmick?
The Waldorf’s doggie room service menu features: “German shepherd’s pie,” “Dachshund’s delights,” which it describes as “miniature hot dogs with Fifi’s choice of sauces,” and ”Great Dane’s danish.”
Also available: ”Mastiff’s munchies” (toasted peanut butter sandwiches) “Pekingese’s duck,” and “Pomeranian’s pasta.”
How cute is that? A little too, in my opinion.
The hotel’s “Fido-Friendly” package includes a luxury pet bed, two silver bowls, a special pet “amenity” a large bottle of water, and one complimentary dog walking during the stay. Dog Concierge services are also available to assist with travelers’ pet needs — from suggesting groomers to recommending Manhattan dog parks.
Nightly rates start at $569. Let’s repeat that: $569.
This offer is valid now through Dec. 31, 2010. For reservations or additional information,visit www.waldorfnewyork.com or call 800-925-3673.
(Photo: Provided by Waldorf-Astoria)
Posted by jwoestendiek October 4th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, canine, dog, dog friendly, doggie, doggie room service, dogs, exclusive, expensive, hotel, hotels, menu, pets, rich, room service, room service for dogs, tourism, travel, traveling with dogs, waldorf, waldorf astoria, waldorf towers
The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) is having a party Saturday — and it’s a chance to get your pet a gift and support hundreds more who need homes.
A Pet Junkie Party will take place in the Conference Room at BARCS, starting at 4 .m. tomorrow (Saturday). BARCS is located at 301 Stockholm Street in Batimore, near M&T Bank Stadium.
Pet Junkie representative Denise Smallman-Chilcoat will be selling dog and cat toys, pet-themed home decor items, jewelry, T-shirts and more, with 35 percent of sales going to BARCS.
For those unable to make it to the party, Pet Junkie will donate 35 percent of online sales to BARCS.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 19th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, bling, cats, denise smallman-chilcoat, doggie, dogs, fundraiser, gifts, jewerly, online, party, pet junkie, pet products, pets, sales, t-shirts, toys
I got around that by having a estimated birth month — April — and holding Ace’s gala birthday celebration on the day of that month that was most convenient to ME. He seemed cool with that.
The North Shore Animal League America now offers another option, aimed at all those dogs with mystery birth dates — “DOGust the 1st.”
The Animal League has officially proclaimed, or at least declared in a press release, that the first day of the eighth month (aka August 1) is DOGust the 1st, a universal birthday for shelter and rescued dogs everywhere.
To engage all dog lovers nationwide in the celebration, North Shore Animal League America is offering DOGust the 1st online greeting cards at www.AnimalLeague.org featuring an original song, “Happy Birthday, Doggie Dear,” created exclusively for DOGust the 1st by Academy and Tony Awards-nominated composer Henry Krieger and lyricist Willie Reale.
Krieger, who recently adopted his dog Freddie from the Animal League, has written the music for several Broadway shows, including Dreamgirls, and won a 2007 Grammy Award.
The Animal League, the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization,will celebrate Dogust 1st with a family fun day at its headquarters in Port Washington, N.Y. with a Pet Health Fair, kids’ activities, adoptable animals and a special DOGust the 1st birthday cake.
To learn more about DOGust the 1st and the Animal League, visit www.AnimalLeague.org.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 1st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 1st, animal welfare, august 1, birthday, birthday card, dog, doggie, dogs, dogust, dogust first, happy birthday, long island, new york, north shore animal league, online, proclamation, rescue, shelter, universal
Wealthy dog owners in India are turning to online canine dating services to find dogs for their dogs to romp with.
And we’re using “romp” in all meanings of the word.
“A lot of dog owners want their dogs to have doggy friends with whom they can play and have their own fun time,” says Geetika Nigam, who launched the 6,500-user-strong Puppy Love community two years ago.
Just like human dating sites, dog owners can upload photos, blog, search for the perfect match and set up dates, according to a Reuters article.
Many of the dogs are pedigreed — and some owners are looking for a dog to breed their dog with — but others are simply trying to set up play dates.
“People are very happy that finally someone has taken up this cause,” says Mumbai-based Mekhala Lobo, who spotted a business opportunity in her newly launched Date Your Pet website.
“Believe me, in the dog world, finding a mate is next to impossible,” the MBA student said. And harder yet for the males. “Families generally prefer keeping male dogs so females are always in demand,” Nigam, who also owns a dog-grooming business, said.
Ishita Sukhadwala set up DogMateOnline in 2008 to help her cousin’s 6-year-old Doberman Rocky find a mate. “It was more out of necessity than anything else,” she said.
Rocky had a profile set up on the website, but he died before a potential match was found.
Pet ownership has boomed in India, thanks to its growing ranks of wealthy, middle and upper class professionals who are also driving sales of luxury goods. But for the vast majority of the country, which lives on between $1 and $2 a day, pets are not an option. Stray dogs are also often beaten, herded into trucks, poisoned and dumped into pits by government workers.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 20th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: breeding, date, date your pet, dating, dating service, dog, dog mate online, doggie, dogs, india, internet, introductions, mate, mates, mating, meeting, news, ohmidog!, online, photos, puppy love, relationships, social, websites
In case you get tired of watching your own dog — and if you ‘re like me, you never do — there’s always the Internet, where a visit to Ustream.tv will hook you up with a live cam show of these Jack Russell puppies, and much more.
You can check in with Madi, a sick Havanese (her temperature has dropped), a litter of Shiba Inus from San Francisco, some mastiff pups from Idaho, a gaggle of Chihuahuas in San Antonio and, of course, Grandma Beth’s bulldogs, who, I can report, made quick work of their dinner last night.
In addition to watching, you can also chat with fellow dog watchers.
All in all, as of last night anyway, there were 41 dog cams to choose from — many, if not most, of which seem aimed at selling pups, as opposed to just warming the cockles of your heart.
The Jack Russell show takes place just north of Syracuse, New York, and features a mom and her five pups. The father, Ollie, makes an occasional appearance.
The website offers about 75 other animal cams — everything from birds and fish to goats and squirrels.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: breeders, cams, dog, doggie, dogs, internet, live cams, pup, puppy, sales, selling, streamed, streams, tv, ustream, view, watch, website
In case you missed it on the Today show this week, here’s a look at their “Big Dog Makeovers.”
Today went to Animal Care and Control of New York City to find four candidates — all more in need of a loving home than an actual makeover.
While the makeovers aren’t that impressive, they do at least allow homeless dogs to get some air time, and find homes. (All the dogs featured in the segment up to now have been adopted.)
This week, they tackled Sonya, a flat-haired retriever mix, Phoebe, an Australian cattle dog , Marcus, a German shepherd, and Jack, a Jack Russell they decided deserved to be i the mix because of his big personality.
Next Monday, as if dogs and makeovers weren’t enough, the Today Show will be throwing a third element into the mix: the ambush.
On Monday, July 6th TODAY will be “ambushing” three lucky dogs on Rockefeller Plaza with a doggie makeover, according to the Today Show blog.
“If you are in the New York area and think that your pup needs some pizzazz, stop by the plaza and your dog may get a new ‘do. Experts will be roaming the crowd starting at 6:45 a.m., so be there early to get a good spot!”
Posted by jwoestendiek July 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ambush, animal care and control, big dogs, dog, dog makeovers, doggie, makeover, nbc, new york city, pets, rockefeller plaza, today show
Singer Patti Page has re-recorded her classic hit, “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?” in hopes that a more politically correct version — “Do You See That Doggie in the Shelter?” — will steer the public away from puppy mills dogs.
The 81-year-old Page, whose autobiography, “This is My Song,” comes out next month, originally recorded “How Much is That Doggie” in 1952.
The re-recorded tune, she says, is an effort to bring attention to the plight of shelter dogs awaiting adoption and the deplorable conditions in puppy mills that supply dogs to some pet stores.
The new lyrics were written by Page’s publicist, Sanford Brokaw, and Chris Gantry, composer of the 1968 Glen Campbell classic, “Dreams of the Everyday Housewife.”
The first live performance of the song, during its recording, was played to an audience that included three rescued Bassett hounds and a rescued Italian Greyhound.
Page says she hopes that when people now hear the old familiar “Doggie” melody, they’ll think about homeless animals and animal shelters instead of pet stores and puppy mills.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 3rd, 2009 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal welfare, do you see that doggie in the shelter, dog, doggie, dogs, how much is that doggie in the window, hsus, humane society, pattie page, puppy mills, recorded, rerecorded, rescue, shelter, song