For an academically challenged canine like me, the cloistered life of books isn’t befitted. The other day, Calvy was too busy to play frisbee with me, browsing through his MBA courseware with eyes darted on the page at one instant and upon the window the very next; waywardly his eyes navigated behind his spectacles… so much for enacting intelligence:)
Dog grins are hard to enshroud, you’d know if you were a dog. Anyway, when he caught me mocking him, he nuzzled in a couch and put off his ‘intelligent glasses’ on the table. With an air of wizardly wand movement, he asked me, “Well, what do you think of advertisements? “
“Ahem! Well…It’s promotion of some product or service”, I said.
“…and usually paid for”, he added.
Now that his ego was satisfied, he was back to his notes and devoid of his playtime, the professor in me delved in the pensive cocoon and recollected some of the most cherished commercials, I had ever been subjected to. Naturally, all of them had one thing in common…dogs.
Well, there is no dearth of talent and wits when it comes to copywriters having dogs in their artwork, yet for the sake of succinctness in the post, I’ve taken the liberty of choosing four. However in the coming posts I’d again reiterate on the idea.
Best TV ads featuring dogs
First we have the amazing campaign by dog food makers Pedigree wherein they embark on a pledge to help a shelter dog get adopted each time their product is bought and they sign off with ‘Dogs Rule’ . Though all the commercials under this campaign were high on emotion yet here are the dog’s pick…
The Mobile service providers Hutch(now known as Vodafone) build their brand in India riding on the back of a pug. The amazingly cute and unforgettable campaign and that sound score still rings a chord.
Hachiko, the legendary Japanese Akita dog has been the testimony of loyalty for nearly a century now. In 1924, Hachiko was brought to Tokyo by his owner, Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo.
Every day Hachiko would accompany his human to the Shibuya railway station and welcome him back in the evening.
The pair continued their daily routine until May 1925 when Professor Ueno didn’t return on the usual train one evening as he couldn’t survive the fatal brain hemorrhage.
Hachiko was given away after his master’s death, but he religiously escaped, turning up time and again at his old home. With the passage of time, Hachiko apparently realized that Professor Ueno no longer lived at the house. So he went to look for his master at the train station where he had accompanied him so many times before.
Hachiko, the loyal dog who waited…
This marked the beginning of one of the utmost heart-wrenching love stories you’ll ever pay an audience to… a decade on the trot, Hachiko waited for Professor Ueno to return. And each day he didn’t see his friend among the commuters at the station.
The faithful dog didn’t allow his ageing body or arthritis to get in the way of his daily ritual. 10 years on, like a clockwork, he’d still return to the station every day to wait for his owner, never giving up hope that the professor would return.
Japanese fall in love with Hachiko
In 1932, one of the Professor’s former students, Hirokichi Saito, intrigued by Hachiko’s routine published a story in Tokyo’s largest newspaper, Asahi Shimbun. Hachiko became a national sensation, overnight, the most famous dog in Japan. His faithfulness to his long-dead master impressed the people of Japan as a spirit of family loyalty all should strive to achieve. Teachers and parents used Hachiko’s vigil as an example for children to follow.
He’d be visited by people from all over Japan as a source of inspiration and good luck. And yet oblivious to all this fame, he remained just a dog waiting for his master.
In 1934, the statue of Hachiko was presented by a well-known Japanese artist. Hachiko also graced the ceremony. Eventually, Hachiko’s legendary faithfulness became a national symbol of loyalty. An annual ceremony celebrated each year on April 8, honours Hachiko’s devotion and loyalty at Tokyo’s Shibuya railroad station.
During World War II, Hachiko’s statue got destroyed, but it was rebuilt in 1948 and became an iconic spot. Bronze paw prints mark the exact spot where Hachiko was waiting.
The gate at the station entrance closest to the statue was renamed, “Hachikō-guchi”, or “The Hachikō Entrance/Exit” in Japanese. Also, one of the train lines was renamed as the Hachiko Line.
Hachiko Movie Review – 1987 (Japanese)
The 1987 Japanese movie, Hachiko Monogatari, based on Hachiko’s undying loyalty to his master even after his death was a run-away Japanese box office success. Believe me, if this story fails to arouse an emotional outburst through your lachrymal glands then perhaps you need to seek psychiatry help! 🙂 Adorned with the 1987 Genesis Awards (awarded for films that contribute to the humane treatment of animals), Hachiko scored with critics and audiences alike. This poignant tale, the profound commentary on the concept of “interspecies altruism” is directed in a subtle manner unlike most of the other movies in the genre.
This film presents to us the inexplicable bond between two souls of different species. None of the other characters in the film seem to understand it; the man’s own family cannot appreciate it; and I wouldn’t be surprised if we, the audience, are not expected to understand it either. This adds even more value to the magical bond which Professor Ueno & Hachi shared.
A review on Imdb.com reads,” If this movie doesn’t affect you, you are THE DEVIL!”
If you’re an animal lover, you’ll be hooked from the first minute. If you’re not an animal lover, then you’ll be one by the time the movie’s over.
There once was a man so an old story goes Went to the station every day rain or snow His faithful dog would walk right by his side And sit there and wait till he came home at night
And when the man died the dog still would go To the station each day … why? no one knows
He was waiting for someone he loved Waiting for someone he loved Someone he believed in someone he could trust Day after day waiting for someone he loved
Days turned to weeks and months turned to years Trains came and went, but the dog still appeared Hoping to see the face he adored His old true companion – the one he lived for But then came the night when the dog finally died Now I know he’s there walking by his master’s side
He’s been waiting for someone he loved Waiting for someone he loved Someone he believed in someone he could trust Don’t you think humans could learn from that dog? Now I don’t know about all of you But I wish that my heart was so true To think he could miss him that much
He spent all his life waiting for someone he loved Waiting for someone he loved!
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale review (2009)
In the summer of 2009 and Hachiko was brought back to the silver screen, this time in a Hollywood production starring Richard Gere and Joan Allen. The movie directed by Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a dog, A Dog’s Purpose) would surely capture your imagination and catapult you to the world which has only lived in your vivid memories like those of Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales.
The movie reimagines Hachi in USA, where a music professor Parker Wilson, played by Richard Gere from a lifelong bond with him.
Here’s our homage…a silent nod to Hachiko’s immortal love and loyalty!