Posted by: Ciaran | December 4, 2009

Television ad of the decade: Volkswagen’s singing dog

Following the success of the album of the decade debate, we’re now on to the advert of the decade.  Follow it on Twitter with the hashtag #adofthedecade.

I don’t really watch an awful lot of television, so perhaps I’m poorly qualified to write this post.  I certainly couldn’t blog about TV, like Curtinho does in his excellent treatise on the coming and goings of US shows.

I watch the news, sport, current affairs shows, and enough of Corrie and Eastenders to keep abreast of what is going on (always an easy way to make conversation with the grandparents if other topics get exhausted). 

I generally use ad breaks as an opportunity to nip to the loo, make a cuppa, or channel-hop.  Even so, there are plenty of adverts which have permeated my consciousness over the 21 years of my life so far. 

The Cadbury’s Caramel bunny was perhaps the first – even now I view her as the Lara Croft of confectionery due to the overly-sexual representation she was given.  Nobody can fail to remember that silky voice.  And if anyone questions the above, just watch the below advert from 1980 (admittedly not in my lifetime, but even then they were laying the crude foundations).

Cadbury’s also had a more recent winner with the gorilla playing a bit of Phil Collins.  Guinness have had some brilliant ads over the years, and I always enjoyed the Kit Kat one with the salmon for its great simplicity and the splendid invocation from Jason Statham: “Remember – you are not a salmon.”

But no advert in the last decade has come anywhere near the singing dog used by Volkswagen Polo.  It has everything; it’s funny, it’s catchy, it’s not over-commercial, and best of all it got up the noses of 286 people who presumably have nothing better to do with their time (do read the story on that link, some of the comments are hilarious – perhaps my favourite criticism is that the dog should have been sat in the back wearing a seatbelt).

So if and when you sit down to evaluate the last decade of your life, remember to be grateful for Volkswagen’s cleverly-trained singing dog.  On three: “I’m a man, yes I am…”

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  1. […] Ciaran Jones started the debate, I have decided to throw in my two cents – I feel there can be only one […]


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