Super Bowl Commercials 2012: The Dog in the Gray Flannel Suit

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Super Bowl Commercials 2012: The Dog in the Gray Flannel Suit
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

I’m a sucker for commercials with dogs.

If you put a dog in an advertisement for a nuclear bomb, I’d buy it. Especially if I could drop it on the Los Angeles Dodgers. But that’s another story for another column. And right now, they have enough troubles.

Super Bowl Sunday delivered us a beautiful, new supply of cute canines. My favorite was the zaftig longhair who whipped himself into shape so he could zip through the doggy door and race the new Volkswagen.

And despite being intimidated by Darth Vader, the guy in the Star Wars bar was right—the dog was funnier than Vader’s kid from last year’s commercial.

How I wish I could get into condition as fast as that dog. Swimming laps, fetching a tennis ball from upstairs, forgoing food scraps as they dropped from the table: I’ve tried them all, and they never work.

But after only 30 seconds, there he was—out the door, sprinting alongside the new car, long golden hair flowing like a butterfly net in the soft, spring breeze.

How could I have known a little car would make me so beautiful and free? (Come to think of it, how could it be so spring-like on the fifth of February?)

Then there was Weego, the pint-sized dog who fetched Bud Light for everybody. Bud Light’s new slogan is “Here We Go,” and the dog was trained to bring a beer every time somebody cried, “Here, Weego.”

Weego was the most popular guy at the party. Every time I’ve brought a pretty girl a bottle of beer clenched between my teeth, I’ve just gotten a strange look. But ol’ Weego—he was picking up phone numbers left and right.

Finally, there was the spirited, short-legged Mr. Quiggly, the French bulldog who donned two pairs of Skechers, dusted all the greyhounds at the dog track and wound up in the arms of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Mr. Quiggly replaced Kim Kardashian, who, the Huffington Post reminds us, was featured in last year’s ad. Beyond proving that all of us short guys can be stars, Mr. Quiggly also demonstrated that a dog is a better come-on than a sexy model.

I’ve never bought anything from Kim Kardashian. Have you? But because of Mr. Quiggly, I’m wiggling my toes in a new pair of Skechers right now. I’ll bet I’m not the only one, either.

If my instincts are right, Mr. Quiggly and Weego went out with Mark Cuban for a couple of beers after the shoot, surrounded by paparazzi and beautiful admirers.

Now, you can be cynical and say that’s what all those ad agency people want us to think.

In their sneaky, manipulative way, they’re telling us that we’ll feel as uninhibited as the wind in a new Volkswagen, that we’ll be the life of the party if we serve Bud Light and that we’ll rise above our pudgy, ordinary selves to race past all the sleek greyhounds in our lives (or, at least, the office) if we slip on a new pair of Skechers.

Well, yeah.

But there’s more to it. Deep down, we know dogs have it better than we do.

We go to work; they lie on the couch. We sit up at night paying bills; they curl up on our feet. We go for a walk and no one makes eye contact lest we be serial killers. They go for a walk and everyone wants to caress them and know their names.

That’s the real power of dogs in commercials. They’re not just cute and cuddly and infinitely more attainable than Kim Kardashian. They’re what we want to be.

Just scratch me behind the ears. And pass me that Bud Light.

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