You’re an idiot. My dog food says so.

11 May

Most of us world-weary media-saturated types would probably consider ourselves above being manipulated by ads. We know they’re lying, and we know they think we’re idiots, and actually we’re much better than all that. You’re wrong. We’re idiots.

Consider the world of dog food. Not something that is especially cut-throat (unless you’re one of the target animals, which is what? Uh… rats, the wobbly bits under a chicken’s beak, and cow lips?). Nevertheless, they work hard at making you believe all sorts of nonsense without you realising it. For example, have you noticed that it’s a long time since they last called it ‘dog food’?

You’ll notice on the above tins that nowhere does it say, ‘Dog food’. You’ll struggle to find one that does. That’s because you wouldn’t like to be fed indiscriminate ‘people food’, so why would you treat your pet that way? (Hint: pets can’t read).

But of course it gets worse. Look at that tin of Husky. It is ‘Beef, Pasta, and Veg Flavour’; oh and it’s ‘Home Style‘. What they’re trying to conjour up is an image of a hearty, balanced meal around grandmamma’s dinner table, home cooked and healthsome; sharing a hot cuppa something with family; good times with good food. Those however are people pictures. Your dog doesn’t have a grandmamma that he visits, he doesn’t eat steak and veggies with the kids, and he regularly — given half a chance — would eat human faeces and unidentifiable grey slime out of the gutter (true stories from real dog walkies).

That Petley’s can is no better. In muted understatement, they claim that this food is to be associated with the words ‘Supreme Gourmet’. That’s right. They got the world’s most highly trained, highly reputed chefs to lovingly craft a tantalising côte d’agneau with spearmint and dark chocolate jus, all for your little poochiekins. And all they came up with was:

You can hear the dying screams of Keith Floyd as you open every can.

It is exactly the same garbage they’ve been scraping off of the floor of the abattoir for decades. Your dog still prefers it to eating faeces 7 out of 10 times, as he always has. All that effort on the tin wrapper exists to make you think that you’re giving Bozo the best.

But here’s the kicker. Even knowing all of this — even if they took two cans from the same conveyor belt — if they stuck that Husky label on the one, and a plain label that says ‘Dog Food’ on the other, you’d still buy the Husky one every time, even, I’ll bet, for a few bucks more. Heck, I would.

So yes, we watch ads with our ‘eyes open’. We know they’re trying to fool the idiots among us. We know their tricks. And yet we go for it every time. Fool me once, shame on you, as they say…

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4 Responses to “You’re an idiot. My dog food says so.”

  1. kwai May 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    That food does not look appealing

    • Jordan Pickering May 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

      The Husky stuff looks better. Until you look close. The ‘chunks’ that are presumably supposed to seem like they’re lovingly cut up with a knife and fork are made of this weird spongy stuff.

      • kwai May 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

        haha, some brands will try anything.
        I have a cat and I he just licks the jelly off the food and leaves the rest.
        Great!

    • Jordan Pickering May 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      Our cats often do the same. Maybe you should get onto producing and marketing tinned jelly for cats. “All of the good stuff”. Finally do something that the pets actually like.

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