By: Michael Kaminsky
Last night an average of 111.3 million viewers tuned in to watch Super Bowl XLVI (46), making the annual sports event the most watched TV program ever. While those in New York and New England watched in support of their local teams, many tuned in simply for the commercials. Amongst the slew of car, beer, and The Voice commercials, it seemed a number of the best commercials featured animals. From a bulldog in Sketchers to CareerBuilder’s use of live chimpanzees dressed as humans, here are Global Animal’s paws up and paws down to last night’s animal Super Bowl ads.
We’ll start off with what seems to be the entire country’s unanimous favorite, Volkswagen’s spot for their new 2012 Beetle. In the commercial a portly pooch’s inability to exit it’s dog door motivates the canine to drop a few pounds. After a little treadmill, pilates, and doggy paddle in the pool, the determined dog achieves it’s goal of making it outside to chase after the radiant red 2012 Beetle.
Another favorite of the night starred a group of racing greyhounds and Mr. Quiggly, a French Bulldog sporting Sketchers’ new GOrun Lightweight Minimalist Running Shoes. After initially falling behind in the dog race, Mr. Quiggly rapidly takes the lead celebrating his victory by moonwalking across the finish line in his fancy new running shoes. While we here at Global Animal do not support greyhound racing, we do support adorable French bulldogs in tennis shoes.
Doritos, known for their humorous Super Bowl spots, delivered again this year with another great fan-made ($20 budget) commercial. This year’s winner starred a 120-pound Great Dane and it’s guardian who slowly realizes the dog has buried the family cat. The dog bribes the man with a bag of Doritos and a paw-written note saying, “You didnt see nuthin.” The man obliges and enjoys the bag of ships, until his wife asks if he’s seen the cat. The dog, with a bag of chips hanging from his mouth stares him down once again. The man simply responds, “Nope.”
The last of the cute dog-featured commercials comes from the Super Bowl’s most consistent advertising presence, Bud Light. In the commercial, a man pets his new dog, Weego, as his friends enter the party. They’re shocked he got a dog. The man explains Weego’s a rescue dog. The friends ask what kind of a name Weego is. The man tells them to call him. “Here, Weego” (Here We Go, Bud Light’s new slogan). Weego then proceeds to fetch Bud Lights for any and all that call for him: “Here, Weego!” At the end of the commercial, Weego is logrolling atop a keg of beer. This commercial is a must watch. Weego the Bud Light retriever is just adorable. And don’t forget to visit Bud Light’s “Help Rescue Dogs” Facebook page.
The one animal commercial that stuck a thorn in viewers sides (particularly PETA’s), was CareerBuilder’s return of the immature chimpanzees dressed as humans. Using live apes in ads has been frowned upon by Madison Avenue lately, yet CareerBuilder opted not to re-brand. PETA’s comment on the “immature chimpanzee” campaign put it best: “Yes, the chimpanzees are immature—that’s because they’re babies who should be with their mothers, not being forced to perform tricks for an ass-backwards company’s cruel and unimaginative Super Bowl ad.”
While the great game that played out last night should be applauded, many commercials should be too. For example, rather than getting a rhinoceros for their Motley Crue ad, Hyundai opted to use CGI animation. However, fellow Korean car maker Kia was not so animal friendly as the company cast a real cheetah for their own Super Bowl ad.
Along with CareerBuilder’s monkey business and Sketchers’ promotion of dog racing, the ads with animals this Super Bowl weren’t as animal unfriendly as past years. Animal advocates really are prompting change. With pups taking the commercial front stage this year, this trend will more than likely carry over to next year’s big game. See you then, Global Animals.