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Lost Dog Commercial Case Study

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Yazmeine Powers

English Composition


Andrea Alden

Lost Dog

In 1876, America’s first National beer brand was introduced. Created by Adolphus Busch, the Budweiser Company concocted the Budweiser Lager Beer, which became increasingly popular within America (Our Legacy | Budweiser History, 2015). During the 2015 Super Bowl, Budweiser’s “Lost Dog” was seen by the world for the first time. The Budweiser commercial “Lost Dog” was effective with its choice of emotion, casting, and music.

In Budweiser’s “Lost Dog” commercial, a Golden Retriever puppy is showed watching his owner receive a new Clydesdale horse. The puppy then goes wandering into the truck that the Clydesdale was brought in and gets trapped. As the Golden Retriever is trapped in the truck, the driver takes off with him still in it. While the truck is driving, it almost gets into an accident so the driver has to slam on the breaks. Then, the door of the truck opens and the puppy hops out. The screen then shifts, showing the puppy’s owner searching and stapling “Lost dog” posters around town. The commercial then shifts back to the retriever walking and trying to find its way back home. He gets close to his home, but then runs into a wild coyote. When the puppy encounters this coyote, he starts to bark and the Clydesdale’s hear his bark and come to his rescue. The puppy’s and Clydesdale’s owner wakes up the next morning to them running back up to the house and an emotional homecoming is shown (“Lost Dog”, 2015).

Using music in an advertising commercial is one way to grab an audience’s attention and pull them in to the commercial. “Overall, 94 percent of the total advertisements and 86 percent of the unique advertisements contained some type of music” (Allen, 2008, pg. 413). This shows that music is a huge part of advertising. Allen states “Assuming that music has attention-gaining value, attention is only the first step in the hierarchy of advertising effects and must lead to memory. It has been claimed for decades that music increases recall” (Allen, 2008, pg. 405). Having a certain song or jingle in an advertisement will make someone remember that advertisement whenever they hear that tune. When a commercial uses music, it draws the viewer in and imprints on their memory.

The Budweiser commercial “Lost Dog” uses music effectively to make the viewer connect to the commercial.  The song “I’m Gonna Be” by Sleeping At Last is used in this commercial. This song is about what someone would do for the person they love. The song starts off slow and then progresses to a more fast and powerful tone. In the commercial, a puppy gets lost from home and struggles to find his way back home. During the part where the puppy is finding his way home is where the slow music is placed. The puppy gets closer and closer to finding his way home and the closer he gets to home, the more powerful the music gets. (“Lost Dog”, 2015). The progression of the music draws the viewer in by connecting to their emotions. The music building up and becoming more powerful toward the climax of the commercial was very effective.

Using emotions in an advertisement makes the audience connect to the commercial. There are two different types of emotional portrayal in commercials: emotional flow and emotional integration. Emotional flow is when “emotions portrayed in a commercial are perceived to change in their nature and/or intensity during the course of the commercial.” (Kamp & Maclnnis, 1995, pg. 20). Emotional integration is when an “ad portrays a link between the brand, on the one hand, and the emotional responses of the ad's characters on the other.” (Kamp & Maclnnis, 1995, pg. 20). It was proved that in using these two emotional portrayals in commercials, the viewer’s feelings were extremely affected.

Budweiser’s “Lost Dog” advertisement used emotions to its best extent. This commercial starts off showing playing around and eventually getting lost from home. The dog has to go through multiple ordeals to get back home. He gets caught in the pouring rain and encounters a wild coyote. (“Lost Dog”, 2015). Seeing this dog go through all of this would make the audience feel sick at heart. But in the end, the dog finds his way back to his family. The different emotions used in this commercial were used effectively to make the audience feel both heartsick and heart warmed.



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