I’ve seen this commercial a couple of times now, and I can’t get over how deeply, deeply weird the subtext is.
Look, I tend to read too much into commercials. I’m the first to admit that. But sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar, you get me? When an adorable, SOFT puppy is the spokesman for a product that uses softness as a selling point, you don’t have to be Umberto-freaking-Eco to understand that the audience is supposed to conflate the softness of the puppy with the softness of the product.
Now, when you have an ad whose message is that many of the things that come into contact with our (oh so tastefully described) “bottoms” are NOT soft, and you use your spokespuppy as a soft, soothing contrast to the dangerous, bottom-abrading world…
Well. I don’t know what the audience is actually going to think. But I know what the ad is trying to say, what we should think if it works the way it’s supposed to. Which is: “I am totally going to wipe my ass with that dog.”