When clinicians at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine began caring for Scout in July 2019, they had no idea they would soon inspire, and appear in, a Super Bowl commercial.
But they had a canine star on their hands, and a very appreciative client who set in motion the ad’s production. As Super Bowl LIV airs Sunday, Feb. 2 on FOX, Scout will appear alongside members of the school’s faculty and staff who have been part of the 7-year-old golden retriever’s cancer treatment journey.
The new 30-second commercial, titled “Lucky Dog,” will air during the game’s second quarter and was paid for by WeatherTech, manufacturer of automotive accessories and home and pet care products. Scout is a member offamily of WeatherTech founder and CEO David MacNeil.
The ad follows Scout’s journey as a cancer survivor, celebrates the work being done at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, and encourages viewers to donate to the school’s cancer research efforts at weathertech.com/donate.
This is the first time UW-Madison has been the subject of a Super Bowl commercial. It was created by Chicago-based agency Pinnacle Advertising and filmed in December at the school and its teaching hospital, UW Veterinary Care.
“This is an amazing opportunity not only for the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the School of Veterinary Medicine, but for veterinary medicine worldwide,” says Mark Markel, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. “So much of what’s known globally today about how best to diagnose and treat devastating diseases such as cancer originated in veterinary medicine. We’re thrilled to share with Super Bowl viewers how our profession benefits beloved animals like Scout and helps people, too.”
Cancer is the number one cause of illness and death in the aging dog population. Having lost his last three dogs to cancer and with Scout now also affected by the disease, efforts to advance life-saving treatments and technology are close to MacNeil.
“Scout’s illness devastated us,” says MacNeil. “We wanted this year’s Super Bowl effort to not only raise awareness, but also financial support for the incredible research and innovative treatments happening at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, where Scout is still a patient. We wanted to use the biggest stage possible to highlight Scout’s story and these incredible breakthroughs, which are not just limited to helping dogs and pets. This research will help advance cancer treatments for humans as well, so there’s the potential to save millions of lives of all species.”
“We’re thrilled to share with Super Bowl viewers how our profession benefits beloved animals like Scout and helps people, too.”
A beloved family pet and WeatherTech’s unofficial mascot, Scout can often be seen around the company’s offices in Bolingbrook, Illinois. He appeared in WeatherTech’s 2019 Super Bowl commercial and is the face of advertising for the company’s pet products.
Last summer, however, tragedy struck when Scout collapsed at home. He was rushed to his local animal hospital, where an ultrasound revealed a tumor on his heart. Scout was given a grave prognosis: a life expectancy of no more than one month. He was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive cancer of blood vessel walls.