For Super Bowl LIV, WeatherTech scrapped its usual “Made In America” messaging for an unconventional commercial that never plugs the company or its products.
The 30-second spot from Pinnacle Advertising, WeatherTech’s agency of record, stars Scout, a 6-year-old golden retriever owned by the company’s founder and CEO David MacNeil. It’s not his first Super Bowl, though; Scout also appeared in the company’s 2019 ad for a new line of pet products.
This year, viewers follow Scout’s journey after a tumor was discovered on his heart. In the face of a 1 percent survival rate, some vets recommended that MacNeil put him down, but he instead turned to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Veterinary Medicine, which successfully removed the tumor with an experimental treatment.
Serving as a thank you to UW, the second-quarter spot goes on to promote a WeatherTech website where viewers can donate to the school that saved Scout’s life. Other than that, and a brief shot of the pup strolling through a WeatherTech factory, there’s little mention of the company.
WeatherTech’s original Super Bowl plan had originally been to do another “Made In America” commercial, says Jac Mansour, Pinnacle’s chief creative officer. “But David said, ‘No, we are going to tell Scout’s story.’”
“I think people have seen enough of that,” MacNeil told Ad Age, referring to WeatherTech’s long history of promoting how its products are made in the USA and how the company strives to employ workers here. “So I thought, let’s invest our energy to really do something to help animals, which also helps people.”
AGENCY: Pinnacle Advertising
QUARTER AIRED: Q2
SUPER BOWL: LIV