Why Nick Shell is a Big Fan of Boost Mobile’s “Is That the Talking Dog?” Commercial (Because It’s a Lot Like “Portlandia” with Fred Armisen)

Weird people who are subtle and seemingly familiar are wonderfully entertaining.

There must be a certain off-beat frequency that both old people and residents of Portland, Oregon are evidently tuned in to.  It apparently causes them to bring up the most bizarre and irrelevant conversation topics.  I believe that specific strangeness is characterized in Boost Mobile’s “Unwronged Pet Carrier” commercial which is simply recognized by most of us as “that weird cell phone commercial with the Dave Grohl wannabe pulling the luggage cart and the sort of half-Venezuelan looking guy that says, ‘Is that the talking dog?'”

I am constantly subconsciously trying to figure out: What talking dog? The guy uses the word “the” instead of “a” as the article referring to the dog.  It’s not just any dog; it’s one particular famous talking dog.  So what famous talking dog is he referring to that I somehow missed on my facebook feed?

Some could say that this mysterious reference to a talking dog would be a cause for me to be annoyed by the commercial.  But no; I recognize this as a clever marketing technique which I feel is a successful effort to relate to people who appreciate subculture-acknowledging commercials.  For people who include Garden State in their top ten list of movies and The Office in their top ten list of TV shows.  And who blocked Farmville within the first two weeks of its existence.

For those of us who appreciate the talking dog commercial (which coincidentally are the same kind of people who found this post and are currently reading it now) I think it’s safe to say that most of us could easily picture one of our grandma’s actually saying “Is that the talking dog?” during dinner.  The talking dog commercial is subtle yet memorable.  Granted, I’ve been with Verizon Wireless for 10 years now and have no intentions on ever switching, but I definitely want to publicly thank the cool people at the whatever marketing agency who gave us the talking dog gem of a commercial.

What is “Portlandia”?  Now’s your chance to find out…

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