Bud Light’s rescue dog fetches USC’s ad prize

In annual contest, advertising studentsselect favorite Super Bowl TV spot

rburris@thestate.comFebruary 7, 2012 

Weego the rescue dog won this year’s Cocky Award for best Super Bowl commercial as deemed by students in USC’s “Super Bowl Advertising” classes.

In the 60-second spot (click to watch/hide), whenever his name is called, Weego races off to the refrigerator, ice bucket or cooler to fetch the caller some Bud Light — by the bottle as needed, by the six-pack if the situation calls for it, or even by rolling a keg to his master.

Yes, America’s love affair with its dogs and beer remained intact this Super Bowl weekend, and earned its creators an invitation to Columbia to collect its prize in the ninth annual Super Ad Poll conducted by the university.

“Bud Light found a clever way to reinforce its slogan, ‘Here we go,’” said Bonnie Drewniany, USC School of Journalism and Mass Communications professor, who has studied Super Bowl advertising for 20 years and taught the class nine years. “Weego tugged at viewers’ hearts and told the important story of helping rescue dogs.”

Titled “Here, Weego, Bud Light,” the winning ad bested M&Ms’ “Ms. Brown” and Doritos’ “Man’s Best Friend” commercials, which finished second and third, respectively, in the USC poll.

Drewniany said nearly 100 students in the undergrad journalism course and Honor’s College participated in the poll — a mandate to meet course requirements — along with some school faculty.

The class helps journalism students learn more about American culture, Drewniany said, while also helping them gain a greater appreciation of what goes into producing the compacted television spots.

“The winning ad ... was compelling because it started with a bit of a surprise, and Bud Light was able to put their slogan ‘Here We Go’ in the commercial very creatively,” Dustin Martin, a senior broadcast major from Gaffney, said in a release.

Stephen Bandstra, a junior from Sumter, said he liked the commercial’s animal rescue message.

“Adorable dog plus a great cause equals a great ad,” Bandstra said in the release. “I was quite pleased that Bud Light is supporting the adoption of animals with an ad and is willing to place it in the Super Bowl.”

The students judged the Super Bowl XLVI ads based on likability, persuasiveness and brand identity, Drewniany said, and the results also included input from an online poll, which concurred with the students’ No. 1 choice of Weego, but differed on second- and third-place selections.

The winning creative team will be invited to Columbia to pick up its Cocky Award in April, Drewniany said. A bigger celebration may be planned for next year’s Super Bowl as the Super Ad Poll recognizes its 10th anniversary, Drewniany said.

Last year’s Cocky Award winner was “Darth Vader.”

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