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Bad Ideas: Chevy's Ad About Euthanizing a Senior Dog Is Devastating

Ready to cry your eyes out? Check out the commercial for the new Equinox.

 |  Mar 7th 2014  |   27 Contributions


The other day, Chevy released a devastating short film about spending your life with a dog and the heartbreak of euthanasia. It's a tender piece, running backward through the life of a woman and her faithful companion, hitting all the high points -- birthdays, campouts, learning to drive, breakups, moving, graduations -- all of which she shares with her dog, Maddie. Near the end, we finally understand that the dog is at the end of her life; they are in a vet's office, and she is being euthanized. At the end of it, Chevy tries to sell you a car. 

Okay, it's really a commercial. 

Watch: 

Strong stuff. Take a moment -- you're probably thinking of your own dog right now, or a dog you lost, or the dog you'll one day get. You're probably thinking wistfully of passing time, loss, regret, happiness, a life well lived. And your dog, of course. Always your dog. 

But you're probably not thinking about how awesome the Chevy Equinox looked at the end there. 

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It is weird that Chevy is using the death of a dog to sell you a crossover SUV? Is it weird that the ad is comparing the life of a dog to the life of a Chevy? Is it weird that this idea ever made it out of a pitch meeting?

Yes! All of that is very weird. But car makers do weird things all the time -- like making a heartbreaking short film about euthanasia and releasing it as a car ad. 

Some people have a real problem with this commercial. Jalopnik calls it the "literally the worst ad ever." Complex Magazine calls it "depressing" and says, "It makes me want to lie in bed and curl up in a ball." 

Other people are just crying, like the people over at Jezebel. "Go ahead, take two minutes to cry it out," says the author of the article. 

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I think that'll be the reaction here as well. This is a fine, brutally emotional short film about life and loss and dogs, with a Chevy tossed in at the end. We're free to ignore the Chevy. We certainly aren't thinking about the Chevy. We're thinking about the dog at our feet and the dog we grew up with. 

What do you think? Is this ad devastating? Do you need another moment? 

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