|Sarah McLachlan in that emotionally painful|
ASPCA ad. Even she says she can't bear to
watch it, no matter how admirable the fundraising goals.
You know the one. As you hear Sarah McLachlan's sang song "Angel" play, we're subjected to abused and lonely dogs and cats who just need you to adopt them into your warm, loving, safe home.
(If you don't want to become a puddle of emotion, don't click on the above link to the ad)
Like millions of other people, especially animal lovers, the second the commercial starts, I change the channel. I can't bear to subject myself to those sad, beautiful and deserving animals.
Then I get angry. That TV ad is so manipulative. How dare the ASPCA play on my emotions with such a blunt instrument to get my donations?
Then I feel guilty. Of course the ASPCA is trying to manipulate me. That's Advertising 101. We're supposed to be manipulated into doing what the advertiser wants. That's effective advertising.
Let's face it. No matter what we feel about the ad, we can't blame the dogs and cats that need our help. Of course, we can't give all our money to the ASPCA and we can't take in every pet that needs a good home.
Which leaves us frustrated.
All these jumbles of emotion are what make us change the channel when the ad comes on. Actually, I don't think the ASPCA is particularly worried that we change the channel, come to think of it. Just the act of having to do that gets us thinking about them, and the dogs and cats that need help.
The ad does its job without us even having to watch it.
That means it's a helluva effective commercial. According to the New York Times, the ad raised $30 million for the ASPCA in just the first two years after it began airing in early 2007.
Which brings us to Sarah McLachlan. (Her new album is out this week!)
McLachlan, too, says she changes the channel when the ad comes on, as it's too much to bear.
To me, that gives us permission to change the channel. The important thing is we do what we can to keep animals safe and protected and loved.
If you and I do that, I'll declare us all off the hook.