You've seen the teasers for Kia's new Super Bowl commercial, each one featuring a robotic dog – officially called Robo Dog – and a Kia EV6. The automaker is obviously looking to promote its new electric crossover with a large audience, but how does one get non-car people interested in such things? You feature an irresistible puppy chasing a car, and then you kill it. Wait, what?
Don't worry, because this minute-long video does have a happy ending, and not just in the fictional world of Robo Dog. The video opens with the robotic pup fully charged in a store, breaking our heart as it dreams of a forever home with the EV6 and its driver parked outside.
As a customer enters the store, Robo Dog makes a break for it and desperately chases after the EV6. A series of almost there moments follow, and frankly, if you're not rooting for this mechanical mutt and its adorable puppy dog eyes to win, we question whether you have any feelings at all.
Finally, the car is within reach but alas, Robo Dog's batteries are nearly dead. A final, desperate leap almost brings the dog home, but alas, the world goes black before it lands. The last thing Robo Dog sees before the end is the roof of the Kia but sadly, the poor pooch never makes it home. However, this isn't the end – Robo Dog's eyes open to see the driver smiling back. He plugged the puppy into the EV6, which gave it a full charge and a new lease on life. The video ends with Robo Dog and those happy, round eyes enjoying the ride with its new family.
But that's not the end of the story, either.
The commercial is part of a larger marketing campaign at Kia that, with a partnership through the Petfinder Foundation, will help real-world animals find their own forever homes just like Robo Dog did.
"We are proud to partner with Kia America for their Super Bowl campaign," said Toni Morgan, executive director for Petfinder Foundation. "Countless animals need loving and forever homes and we hope to place many of them over the coming weeks. The human-animal bond is vitally important and can bring years of happiness, comfort, and companionship to both the animal and owner."
Total eclipse of the heart, indeed.