Want to be the one to tell all your dog-lovin’ friends about a great new commercial starring some really awesome dogs barking out the Imperial March from Star Wars? Check out the teaser for the Volkswagen ad! (At first it’s a bit of a cacophony, but you’ll hear the tune emerge.)
As of this writing, only 305 people have seen it. You will be a pioneer. Your friends will thank you. And you may even feel an odd and overwhelming urge to buy a Volkswagen.
But here’s the thing. There’s this handsome Italian greyhound named Bones Mello that Dogster Managing Editor Janine Kahn wrote about while I was on leave to write my book. She did a post about his incredible homemade and home-designed Star Wars AT-AT costume, with photos of the making of the costume step by step. Katie Mello, an artist at the animation studio LAIKA, created it herself. Here is Bones in his finery.
Okay, now check out this image from the end of the Volkswagen dog chorus commercial.
Wow, cool! Looks like Bones has made it to the big time in that costume. But wait! What’s this on his Facebook page? A Wall post from Bones says, “Yea, so there is an Italian Greyhound at the end of this ad who looks a lot like me, and is wearing a suit a lot like mine. Today is the first I have heard of this …… Hmmmm….”
A few dozen comments from Bones’ loyal fans follow. They are not happy. Everyone who saw it assumed it was Bones.
Wow, it’s really hard to believe that the people who put this commercial together did not flat-out rip off this whole thing, including the pattern for the costume (which did not turn out as well as the original). I’ve checked around and have found no costumes like this on the market. This sure seems to be much more than coincidence.
Ideas are not protected by copyright, and Katie put the pattern out to the public, so there’s probably no case for a suit (or is there? I’m no lawyer), but it would have been nice if the ad agency could have at least contacted her and told her of the commercial, and thanked her for the idea/costume pattern. Perhaps Bones could have gotten an audition. And they could have thrown in something kinda cool, too. She probably wouldn’t have gotten a Volkswagen out of it, but maybe a top mention on their upcoming Star Wars viewer names promo? I dunno. Seems like they should do right by her because it’s the perfect ending to this terrific new commercial. They need to make it come out well for Bones and Katie, too.