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Super Bowl Ads Part II: Educating Viewers On HSUS Deception

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Super Bowl ad educates viewers on the deceptive fundraising tactics of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS).

If you were one of the 111.3 million people who tuned into the Super Bowl over the weekend, I’m betting you have an opinion or two on the commercials. There was the race to get to the giant Coke bottle, the goat that loved Doritos, the darkened corners of a Budweiser party, the chiseled abs of a guy in Calvin Klein boxers, and the fun adventures of the beloved M&Ms characters. And don’t forget the Clydesdale colt.

Of course, there was the much-talked-about Dodge Ram “So God Made A Farmer” commercial.

There was also another notable commercial that aired just before the game, which I hope caught the attention of a lot of viewers. That was the commercial by HumaneWatch.org, a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), which highlighted the deceptive fundraising practices of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS). The ad explained that only one penny of every dollar raised by HSUS actually goes toward the support of animal shelters. “Paw-thetic,” was the HumaneWatch.org ad’s catchphrase. Watch the entire commercial below.

HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle responded on his blog that he thought the HumaneWatch.org ad was a waste of cash. However, I think any effort to educate consumers about the fact that HSUS, the 72nd largest charity group in the U.S., has consistently received a D grade for its lack of honesty and integrity in using donated funds to actually help animals is well worth it. Instead, HSUS is an animal rights organization focused on abolishing animal agriculture and eliminating meat, dairy and eggs from the dinner table. Hopefully, viewers who saw the commercial followed up by checking out HumaneWatch.org and will think twice before donating to HSUS in the future.

“Most viewers will be bowled over this Sunday to find out that HSUS doesn’t operate as a pet shelter umbrella group,” says CCF Senior Research Analyst J. Justin Wilson. “HSUS purposely uses emotionally manipulative ads featuring sad-looking dogs and cats in cages, yet it gives just one penny of every dollar it raises to hands-on local pet shelters.”

What did you think of the ad? Was it effective? How about the Dodge Ram commercial celebrating farmers and ranchers using a poem narrated by Paul Harvey? Over all, what was your favorite commercial of the night? You can weigh in on those questions in the comments section below.

Discuss this Blog Entry 21

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 6, 2013

THE DODGE AD WAS SWEET AND SENTIMENTAL BUT ABOUT 40 YEARS LATE. IT DOESN'T SHOW AN ACCURATE PICTURE OF FARMING IN 2013.

Tana Beckstead (not verified)
on Feb 6, 2013

I beg to differ! How was that commercial 40 years late, apparently you don't know that many farmers and ranchers still practice agriculture that way today! Come out here to Idaho and I will show you how we farm and ranch. We still work cattle horseback and haul hay by hand. I don't know where you farm but get your facts straight before you make a comment like that! Apparently you must be afraid of your comments or you would add your name and be recognized for it!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 6, 2013

The commercial was good and is fairly accurate in the area of Missouri that I live. The part that is wrong is the age of the Ram truck. Mine is a 2003 because I can't afford a new one. Come visit me we don't have new anything and still get the job done. We have neighbors that have new things but the majority look like that farm and farmers.

on Feb 6, 2013

The ad was about as accurate as you can get in my neighborhood. Two of the families featured in the photographs live not too far down the road from this place which operates much the same way as they do.

It seems so many want to label everything corporate farming but nobody has come up with a definition for corporate farming.
Is it over 10 acres, is it over 10 cows, is 1000 acres or 10,000 acres, is it 100 cows or 1000 cows or 10,000 cows. The bigger question is "does it matter"

I think the ad shows an accurate portrayal of modern agriculture getting it done. There are thousands of families just like those pictured farming and ranching just as depicted.

Neckrein (not verified)
on Feb 6, 2013

We should all make a contribution to HumaneWatch!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 6, 2013

I was pleased with the Humane Watch commercial in this wide of an audience setting, but the best and favorite had to be the Dodge farmer spot. It was great.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 6, 2013

I thought the ad was great. I also believe that the narration by Paul Harvey was recorded in the 70's.

shaun evertson (not verified)
on Feb 6, 2013

What does farming look like in 2013?

on Feb 6, 2013

It looks like the ad shows. A lot of the photographs were taken in 2012 on currently operating farms and ranches.

shaun evertson (not verified)
on Feb 6, 2013

I liked both ads. I think they might show that the tide is turning against those who play fast and loose with anti-everything claims. People are smart, and while they may fall for scams occasionally, they get pretty irritated when they find they've been duped.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 6, 2013

Paul Harvey originally recorded it in the sixties. Then rerecorded it several times with topical changes.

RG Vieira (not verified)
on Feb 6, 2013

Unbelievable! I was the only farmer/rancher in the room and felt like a bigger star than anyone on TV that day. During the commercial the room went silent, then right afterward everyone turned to me and smiled. There were a few sincere comments... I've never been more proud to be in agriculture. If you want people to know where their food comes from, this is how you do it.

on Feb 6, 2013

Ditto that

Blaine (not verified)
on Feb 6, 2013

RG...what a cool experience you had. Good for you and thanks for what you do!

Bob (not verified)
on Feb 6, 2013

The beauty of agriculture is the vast diversity of US Agriculture in terms of look and products produced. I think the main point behind that commercial is not the farm itself but the farmers who work so hard to take the very best care of the land and livestock that God has trusted us with. The people portrayed in that picture look like the same guy's I pass on the dirt road every day, hard working, caring, and 100% determined to take the best care of their land and livestock as possible. Even though I no longer drive a dodge pickup, I am excited that they have made 2013 the year of the farmer!!! There isn't a day go by that we don't thank God for the beauty of the land we work on every day, the opportunity to witness new born live every spring, and the satisfaction that we produce a product that NOBODY can live without (food).
Thanks to Humane Watch for putting the facts about the H$U$ out there for the people to see. They are after our way of life and I am happy there is someone willing to bring their deception to life.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 6, 2013

I feel that it is great to see agriculture get a voice on something as huge as the super bowl. We all need to thank Dodge for doing that. I hope that this really starts people thinking when it comes to HSUS. What a great day for agriculture

on Feb 7, 2013

The Dodge ad was my favorite followed by the Clydesdale colt.

I was especially pleased to see the ad from Humane Watch! Go to their website and sign up for their emails. It will open your eyes to HSUS and other groups like PETA.

HSUS has been operating like this for a long time. Everyone needs to spread the informtion in this ad. Farmers are a primary target but no one is aware because they think HSUS is all about saving poor little animals.

Try to look past their ads showing the trembling dog or scarred kitten...send your generous donations to your local shelters. Your local Humane Societies are the ones doing the work. The Humane Society of the United States does not support them.

Rescue from your shelters or other breed related rescue groups...these are the people who care about homeless animals.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 7, 2013

Interesting that very few, if anyone has made open, transparent comments about the deceptive practices of HSUS ~ While I agree that the Superbowl ads are a hot topic, and agriculture has, ultimately, the potential to be more broadly healthy and sustaining than beer does ~ if we are so easily deceived by such big smooth operations as HSUS, because they focus on our psychological connection with and (sometimes deeply flawed) response to animals, then aren't we missing a very valuable point?

Anonymous (not verified)
on Feb 7, 2013

It says email is optional... I wrote a brilliant comment. It would not let me post it without an email, so I provided an email and it deleted my comment... I am NOT writing it again. Deception is deception ~ whether it be HSUS or THIS article.

Terry Ward (not verified)
on Feb 9, 2013

‎"More people turned to the HSUS and PETA for animal welfare information than all industry groups, government agencies and scientific sources combined"

http://nationalhogfarmer.com/blog/why-do-consumers-believe-hsus-and-not-you

Atypicalaggie (not verified)
on Feb 12, 2013

I really enjoyed the Humane Watch Commercial. I think it was simple enough that it will reach a wide range of audiences and the simplicity was also good because it didn't take away from the message. I was also very pleasantly surprised at the quality and content of the commercials this year during the super bowl and I think a lot of watchers, including extreme animal rights activists were also surprised. Regarding the So God Made a Farmer commercial, no matter if there is controversy surrounding it AT LEAST people are talking about farmers!

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