“What I Don’t Know…”

This is a commercial, one that most of you have already seen.  It's been on most TV stations, and can also be seen on YouTube. 

This is just a commercial.  My 14 years in advertising have taught me what thought processes go into the creation and placement of a commercial.  And people learn to distrust them before they learn to read – after all, a commercial only has to sell a product, hand over fist.  The heart is not involved.

But this commerical has brought me closer to tears than any one I've ever seen.  It's wonderfully done – a simple, mournful guitar played beneath words spoken in short, simple, straight-foward sentences.  The words aren't spoken forcefully, but they strike like sharp punches, relayed by someone who knows your weakest spot.  And the visuals?  Dogs in some un-named pound, looking through the bars, their faces hopeful and sad, but never understanding.  Every dog is different, but every expression says the same thing: "But what I don't know is…how I ended up in here."

Forget that this is a commercial.  Because through the advertising murk there is a gleam of compassion.  The result is difficult and heart-rending.  So I hope everyone watches it.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAxOtp4vDJQ

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20 responses to ““What I Don’t Know…”

  1. you know Aubs, living here in BFE * I had neither seen nor heard of this commercial. thanks for the heads-up, I shall go search for it in YouTube. and will have you to blame when I'm crying like a baby…

  2. Oh lord.I haven't seen this either.I feel that it will get lots of dogs homes. I have to believe that.

  3. * Big Fat Empty(heh)

  4. * Bum-Fuck-Egyptpppppbbbbffffttthhhh

  5. …and yep, I knew Pedigree supports dog adoptions, though I hadn't seen that commercial. Thanks & kudos to them.

  6. Snort…gotta love that "blowhole action"…..LOL!

  7. Oh ya coulda just left it alone… I was try'na make ya sound classy.(heh heh)

  8. Where in the world did that BFE term come from…ok, I could look on urbandictionary or wikipedia…but I have to go to bed SOMEtime!!

  9. 'tis a hopeless task, darlink

  10. Oh man, every time I see that commercial I well up. And I am not a cryer. Curse you, Pedigree!

  11. HA! I am still not in bed. Curse you, Vox!

  12. That is a bad (evil) ad.
    Buy Pedigree, for your ‘pure breed,’ but salve your consciences by pennies
    spent on poor old mongrels in a pound.

    When do people get tired of having their
    emotions manipulated???

  13. Manipulation is the very definition of advertising. Bottomline, it's all about buying the product.
    But if it means manipulating a few scant dollars out of the consumer to be re-directed to animals in need of homes, I think it's a good idea. It's a few dollars they didn't have before.
    My point was that the message somehow broke free of the advertising. It showed unloved animals, begging for a home. It no longer was a commercial for pet food, but a plea to take these animals home.

  14. I understand, that your looking for some good to come from this
    advertisement.

    I have been of the opinion for a while now, that advertising
    'come buy this product' wasn't a manipulation. It was informing the consumer of
    a potential choice.
    Marketing though is the manipulation of consumer, the product, and the market.
    'This product is the same as everybody else's, and has no intrinsic quality distinction,
    but we will donate a few cents to the upkeep of these homeless animals if you
    buy ours and not their’s.'
    This has nothing to do with how good the product is, it's all about how people
    feel about the product.
    Why do people need a corporation to facilitate compassion?

    I would feel a little weird about someone who didn't care about locked up
    animals until a commercial pricked their emotions.

    I just feel that some advertising/marketing is wrong. Such as getting kids
    hooked on McDonald Happy Meals.
    I thought it was interesting that you thought that the commercial broke free of
    the financial imperative of the company.

    I would prefer a slick dude in a suit specking down the barrel
    of the camera…

    Hi folks, we are a multinational corporation and enough is
    never enough.

    Cough up some dough for our doggy chow and we will spend the
    dosh on a new BMW for the boss.

    By the way, our excuse for not caring is that we are an
    emotionless organisation bent on profit.

    What’s yours????

  15. "I would feel a little weird about someone who didn't care about locked up animals until a commercial pricked their emotions."
    I honestly wouldn't – because in this case, it's not only their emotions being pricked, but it's their wallets being pried open, as well. Some good is coming out of this.
    But I suppose it's all in the way you look at things; the 'not caring' and 'enough is never enough' argument is certainly true – in far too many cases – but not everywhere. And when it comes to grabbing my interest, the problem of rescue animals trump the problem of greedy corporations every time.

  16. Advertising is fascinating stuff. People manipulating people. Let the games begin.
    As for the Pedigree commercial. (I didn't watch it, yet. Aubrey's description is enough, for now.) Consider this: Nobody forced Pedigree to make a plea on behalf of shelter pets. Pedigree made the choice.

  17. I saw this commercial over the weekend and just lost it. David Duchovny does the narration, BTW – he's really into supporting animal-related causes/shelters/etc. kiki needs a puppy…

  18. Enough never is enough, but any good that can be done should be done. No one has to manipulate me to get me to rescue/give to rescue causes, but if some people need to be manipulated and it works…cool! 🙂

  19. I agree, Lauri. it's a less than perfect world for sure, and i'll take half a loaf over none. doesn't mean I won't keep whining for the whole. 🙂

  20. To bring this post back to life, Pedigree is sponsoring the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (on right now, USA Network – the poodle just won the Toy Group and my beloved pug came in 3rd). During the 2 nights of the show, if viewers click on http://www.pedigree.com and make a donation to the American Humane Society, Pedigree will match every donation. The oversized check is going to be presented to the AHS tomorrow night during the final show.

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