You’ve probably noticed a lot of dogs in television commercials lately and for some very good reasons.
Some of the most popular Super Bowl commercials this year featured dogs, including two which were somewhat controversial. People either loved them or hated them.
The Skechers commercial where the French Bulldog beat the Greyhounds because of the power of shoes offended some people who want Greyhound racing banned.
The Fritos commercial had some cat forums organizing boycotts against Fritos. A goofy looking Great Dane seems to know all about the disappearance of a cat and bribes the human with Fritos not to rat him out.
Whether the ads are cruelly offensive or innocent humor seems to be in the eye of the viewer.
Controversy is unusual in commercials that feature dogs. A dog almost always brings warmth and humor to the ad, even if the dog just walks across the screen without having a major role.
Dogs are cute and innocent. People love/like dogs—except for the most truly malevolent or demented among us. The feeling carries over to a positive attitude toward the company represented in the ad.
We may not have warm feelings toward insurance companies, but only the afore mentioned malevolent or demented can avoid warm fuzzies watching this very successful, long running commercial.
Another important reason to use dogs in commercials is economy.
Professional actors belong to a union, which sets minimum rates for the work, hours, working conditions, breaks, meals, overtime pay, etc. But that is only part of it.
The actor also gets residual payments whenever the commercial is aired. Every time you watch that nerdy guy marry bacon or the Carl Jr.'s bimbo eat a burger, they get a hunk of change. A successful ad campaign can earn thousands of dollars for an actor.
Dogs don’t have unions. Their rate of pay is negotiated between the agent or dog trainer and the people casting the commercial. A typical rate is $350 a day for a walk-on part and more for special training involved. Not belonging to a union, the dog gets no residuals.
This commercial not only sells the product with fun, humor, warmth, and camaraderie, but it has a special message at the end.
Do you have a favorite doggie TV commercial?