Tuesday, May 27, 2008

his master's voice?

an open letter to the purina pet food company

dear purina,

in this ad for your product beggin' strips, you feature a dog getting very excited about the possibility of eating bacon. the dog jumps around and runs through the house looking for bacon, nearly trampling a young child in the process.

and the dog talks.
the commercial even ends with the dog jumping up on the owner, licking her face and saying, "i love you, i love bacon, i love you, i love bacon."

the problem here is misrepresentation: what we hear in this ad is obviously not this dog's voice. clearly, this voice-over was done by a much smaller dog: a corgi, a scotty, a lhasa apso. this is not the voice of a full-grown golden retriever.

i cannot watch the film of "my fair lady" without wondering what audrey hepburn actually might have sounded like singing "wouldn't it be loverly." i have trouble watching natalie wood mouth "tonight" while knowing i'm hearing marni nixon.

similarly, it seems unfortunate to me that you couldn't cast a dog in this commercial talented enough to read his own lines.

tony clements


  1. How about the poor dog in those Bush's Baked Beans commercials? Why couldn't they have just allowed him to use HIS own voice too?

    Where's the love?!?

    These dogs need to get agents!

  2. Golden retrievers have Texas accents. It's well known. Both of mine do - the younger one does have a higher pitched voice, but they are both definitely from Texas. Probably Austin.

    They certainly wouldn't sound like Gilbert Gottfried.


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