Remember that Super Bowl ad for Skechers athletic shoes — the one that featured Mr. Quiggly, a French bulldog, racing a group of greyhounds at an Arizona racetrack?
It led to some major backlash, mainly from Grey2K USA, an anti-greyhound racing group that had documented abuses at Tucson Greyhound Park, where the ad was filmed. The organization, and others, tried to get the ad pulled and then called for a boycott of Skechers, saying the ad promoted cruelty.
Given all that, what is one to make of this?
A band called Swedish House Mafia — if band is even the right word – has teamed up with Absolut Vodka to create a commercial that promotes the musical group, and the vodka, and, seemingly, the racing of futuristic greyhound robots.
I don’t begin to understand what’s going on in the ad, but the band members appear to be taking part in some sort of virtual greyhound racing experience in which they are the dogs, as a crowd of people dressed in Lady Gaga-like attire and wearing too much make-up watch, biting their lips in excitement.
One of the digital greyhounds takes a fall at some point, but gets up and keeps running.
Most people seem to find the ad, and its pounding techno dance club music, highly cool, but an Arizona greyhound rescuer and blogger has lashed out against it, saying it promotes animal cruelty. “…Greyhounds are once again perceived as futuristic exploited racing machines,” Karyn Zoldan wrote on her blog, Tucson Tails. “The video is a deadly cross between Project Runway and Mad Max.”
“…This ad is haunting…haunting in the way it promotes greyhound racing as subhuman depravity. Haunting in a way, I feel nauseous and want to vomit.”
GREY2K USA, to its credit, hasn’t taken a position on the Absolut ad, deeming it not worth pouncing upon, given no greyhounds were used in it and those depicted are computer-made images.
Besides, complaining about an ad so oddly ambiguous and unclear in its meaning — if it has any – would be a waste of time, and who has time to waste in today’s fast-paced world?
If you’re wondering what greyhound racing and vodka have to do with each other, the answer is absolutely nothing. The only connection I can see is that there was — even before Absolut had the foresight to put them in the same bottle — a vodka and grapefruit juice cocktail called a Greyhound, and adding salt to it makes it a Salty Dog.
While we don’t object to cocktails being named after dogs, or to consuming vodka, or to mixing it with grapefruit juice, we”re all for an end to greyhound racing.
While slowly fading away, it continues in seven states.
Racing greyhound robots, though? We have no objections to that. In fact, it can even be looked at as a solution.
If only robots were raced at greyhound tracks, industry employees would learn news skills more befitting modern times. There would be employment opportunities for all the techno-nerds who build and service them. There would be no worries about feeding or humanely maintaining the dogs. There would be no exploitation of animals for human gain — just exploitation of robots, and I kind of like that idea, at least until they turn on us. There could even be techno dance music pumped in, and vodka-based beverages served.
And, odds are – when it comes to the real, breathing versions — there’d be a lot more happy greyhounds.
(To see all our Woof in Advertising posts, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 30th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: absolut, absolut greyhound, advertising, animals, cgi, commercial, cruelty, dogs, dogs in advertising, grey2k usa, greyhound, greyhound racing, karyn zoldan, marketing, pets, racing, swedish house mafia, tracks, tucson tails, video, vodka, woof in advertising
A Helena, Montana, man has been charged with animal cruelty after his dog was found to have a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit for humans driving motor vehicles.
Police responded to a call about an intoxicated dog at Smith’s Bar, where customers and staff were caring for the dog, a Pomeranian mix named Arly II.
According to police, the dog had trouble walking and standing.
Witnesses told police the dog had been given vodka in a car outside the bar.
Police took the dog to Alpine Animal Clinic, where veterinarian Dr. Michelle Richardson drew blood. Tests showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.348 percent. The legal limit for driving is 0.08 percent.
Arly II stayed at the animal hospital a few days and is now at the Lewis and Clark Humane Society pending the outcome of the criminal case, the Helena Independent Record reported.
Todd Harold Schrier, 49, was charged with animal cruelty and a felony drug charge related to the March 1 incident.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 23rd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alcohol, animal cruelty, animals, arly, arly II, arrest, blook alcohol, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, drink, drunk, helena, intoxicated, level, montana, pets, poisoning, pomeranian, smiths bar, todd schrier, vodka