I’ve been seeing these teaser commercials on Hulu. They’re by Buick, and you see customers being shocked, surprised and/or delighted, but they don’t show you why. They encourage you to visit www.buick.com/surprise to see the rest of the story.
For weeks I didn’t see the rest of the story, because I felt it was irrelevant. I can’t imagine a scenario in which I’ll be able to afford a new car ever again, so what Buick has to say doesn’t really matter much to me. But one day I was bored and had time to kill and decided to check it out. I wish I hadn’t, because now I’m pissed off.
Spoiler alert. In the video, it shows people showing up for customer service at Buick, and the clerk is actually the illusionist Michael Carbonaro. He tells them they’ve got a prize pack under their seat. They reach under, and it’s a white padded envelope. He opens it for them, and pulls out a cute little puppy.
In fairness, it’s an amazing illusion, although I would like to know what the puppies were put through to achieve it. And statistically, puppies in commercials do increase their success, so Buick is being really smart. Those are not things that I have a problem with.
No, what irks me about this video is it’s sending out the message that it’s a great idea to give a puppy to someone who had no plan to have one, had no consultation as to the breed, and no preparation to take on this responsibility. Would you hand over an infant to a randomly selected stranger?
At the end of the video it says the customers were real, but the puppies were actors. So, yeah, these dogs weren’t actually thrown into arbitrary, possibly unsuitable homes after all, but it’s the implication that disturbs me. Some fool is going to watch that video and think, “What a cute idea! Look how happy it made her! I should get a puppy for so and so! She’ll be thrilled!”
A puppy, like a child, is a huge responsibility. It requires planning and preparation. You need to research the breed that will fit best with your lifestyle. You need to make sure your home is puppy proofed. You have to be willing to take on the financial burden and sacrifice a lot of time. It’s not a decision you should enter into lightly. Puppies aren’t presents. You don’t throw them in a jewelry box like a string of pearls when they no longer match your outfit.
Shame on you, Buick.