Man Buys $6M Super Bowl Ad to Thank Vet for Saving His Dog From Cancer
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
January 29, 2020
Besides all the football, one of the highlights of watching the Big Game is seeing all the commercials produced by companies across the nation who are hoping to entice you into seeing their movie or buy their products. Because the Super Bowl is watched by millions around the world, ads can be incredibly pricey. And despite the hefty price tag, one dog owner has spent nearly $6 million to thank the veterinary clinic that saved his beloved Golden Retriever.
When David MacNeil's 7-year-old golden retriever, Scout, collapsed last summer, he took his pup to the vet where an ultrasound revealed a tumor on his furry friend's heart and only had about a month left to live.
"There he was in this little room, standing in the corner... and he's wagging his tail at me. I'm like, 'I'm not putting that dog down. There's just absolutely no way," said MacNeil, who is the founder and CEO of WeatherTech, an car accessories company.
Scout, who serves as the unofficial mascot for McNeil's company, was brought to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and began undergoing treatment with aggressive chemotherapy and radiation that has nearly eradicated the tumor. Scout also received immunotherapy aimed at stimulating his immune system to attack cells expressing specific tumor proteins.
Despite only have a 1% chance of making it, Scout survived the treatment and McNeil was grateful. So grateful, that MacNeil spent nearly $6 million on a Super Bowl ad that not only tells Scout's story, it also encourages viewers to donate to the veterinary school's research.
The 30-second spot, titled "Lucky Dog" is scheduled to air during the second quarter of Super Bowl LIV on Sunday and tells the story about how Scout survived his dire cancer diagnosis.
“This is an amazing opportunity not only for the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the School of Veterinary Medicine, but for veterinary medicine worldwide,” Mark Markel, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine said in a statement about the ad. “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 aging dog populations.
"We’re thrilled to share with Super Bowl viewers how our profession benefits beloved animals like Scout and helps people, too," said Markel.
"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," MacNeil said.