Best and Worst Super Bowl Ads… for Animals

Published by Alisa Mullins.

As usual, the commercial lineup during Super Bowl XLVI featured some real dogs—and we’re not just talking about CareerBuilder’s tired old re-tread of the “immature chimpanzees” storyline. 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.

As for the dogs, I’m also referring to the actual dogs who appeared in many of this year’s Super Bowl ads, including Bud Light’s real-life rags-to-riches rescued mutt, Weego, who tirelessly fetches beers every time someone utters Bud’s slogan, “Here we go!” “He’s a rescue,” proclaims Weego’s proud guardian, and the ad ends with a plea to visit Bud Light’s “Help Rescue Dogs” Facebook page.

We have to throw a penalty flag on Skechers for promoting greyhound racing in its ad featuring a sneakers-clad French bulldog. The ad was trying to be cute, but greyhound racing, with its legions of abandoned, shot, and starved ex-racers, is about as ugly as it gets.

Hyundai fumbled when it used a real cheetah in its ad. Wild animals used for ads often spend most of their lives confined to cages or chains and may be routinely beaten in order to “show them who’s boss.” Hyundai should have taken a cue from fellow carmaker Kia, whose ad starred a lifelike computer-generated rhinoceros (not to mention a very animated—but not animatronic—Tommy Lee).

Animatronics and CGI technology are so good that it can be hard to tell the real animals from the robots, which is why there’s no excuse for dragging real chimpanzees, cheetahs, or other wildlife onto a sound stage.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind