Popular Dogs of the 1980s
Ah the 80′s, a decade of Madonna, Live Aid and the Rubik’s cube. But the decade also saw a burgeoning middle class courtesy of a relatively strong economy. With more money and time available to the masses advertisers, marketers, and entertainment companies attempted to tap into this wealth, which is why our favorite dogs of the 80′s are…
McGruff the Crime Dog
This cartoon Bloodhound, the work of advertising giant Saatchi & Saatchi and funded by the Advertising Council, was created to help drive crime awareness among children by “Take[ing] a Bite out of Crime”. While not stated, perhaps McGruff was a reaction to the crack fueled crime spree of the decade.
Either way, McGruff has appeared in countless Public Service Announcements and has made hundreds of appearances in comic books, on the radio, and even at live events (there are over 4,000 active McGruff costumes). Still used today, this crime fighting dog’s staying power has certainly carved a place in America’s comprehensive lexicon.
In my humble opinion, no cartoon better encompasses the 80′s than Inspector Gadget, a walking cyborg like detective chock-full of James Bond inspired tools who solved mysteries not by skill but rather fortuitously sprinkled with the help of his niece Penny and his uber intelligent dog Brain. Bipedal and able to verbally communicated ala Scoobie Doo this faithful canine has never let his master down. Sounds like a pretty good dog,no?
While only running from 1983 to 1996, Inspector Gadget remained in syndication and was even named by IGN named as the 54th animated TV show.
A Bud Light mascot -and ‘original party dog’- this bull terrier was one popular pup, what with a plethora of prominent commercials and an entire merchandise line. But the campaign wasn’t without its detractors -temperance related groups regularly attached the ads. Additionally, the Center for Science in the Public Interested, along with Mothers Against Drunk Driving charged Anheuser-Busch with marketing to children. Subsequently the ads were dropped in the early 1990s.
What did we miss? What’s your favorite dog of the 1980s?