With less than a week to go until Super Bowl 50, the ads have finally begun trickling out like so much red, runny, tomato water at the top of an unshaken ketchup bottle. And of that bunch, the only one so far to feature a veritable army of dachshunds dressed in hot dog buns, sprinting through a glorious field into the waiting arms of excited humans wearing giant ketchup and mustard bottle costumes, is the spot from Heinz (by agency DAVID Miami).
As the dozens and dozens of dachshunds, garbed out to emphasize the “weiner” in “weiner dog,” charge in slow-motion through the idyllic field to the strains of Harry Nilsson’s piano ballad “Without You,” an awaiting array of adults–and one tiny baby–dress as condiments to receive them. As the dogs approach, the faces of the people waiting for them seem to suggest not just excitement–or even joy–but a sense that destiny is upon them. While the dachshund’s evolutionary purpose may have been to chase badgers into their holes, their cultural purpose is to wear hot dog buns and delight the humans who see the hunting dogs cheerfully charge, free of shame, like so many sentient sausages. Super Bowl ads are all about delivering exactly what the people want, in ways that they don’t quite expect, and Heinz delivers on that front here for sure.