Puppies! Puppies! Puppies! (Byronic Man)

September 21, 2012


In visual rhetoric, there is something called “affect transfer.”  It’s when you generate an emotional response, and then immediately show something to which you’d like people to connect the emotion.  Visually, we tend to be drawn to the center of the image, then “read” left to right, and top to bottom, so generally you want to frame your affect transfer appropriately.  So, you know, the cigarette ad wants you to think of rugged, rugged, manly, rugged… Marlboro!

Or you’ve got a president who you kind of wish seemed a little more… presidential…

So it can have a fairly logical, if unrealistic, connection.  Or it can be just a random emotional association.

Don’t you just love Cottonelle Toilet Tissue?  Man, sometimes I just want to hug it and throw a ball for it, and let it sleep on the bed.

There are, of course, the examples that fry your brain a little.  Take this one:

I know, right?  The first thing you notice is that these seats have no seatbelts!  But also, I don’t know if you caught it, but there’s a tiiiiiiny undercurrent of sexual suggestion there.

Just kind of interesting.  But also useful.  Spouse mad at you?  Ask if they’d like some ice cream or glass of wine and hold both right next to your face!  Trying to get noticed by your employer?  Hang pictures of superheroes, money, and – I don’t know – gold bars? behind you!

That’s why I’m here. To help.  Happy.  Money.  Loved.  Puppy.  Wine.  Byronic Man.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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62 Comments on “Puppies! Puppies! Puppies! (Byronic Man)”

  1. Life With The Top Down Says:

    No wonder everyone had a Pontiac when I was growing up, finally my questions have been answered. No need for seat belts when you have those legs wrapped around you.


  2. 1pointperspective Says:

    Perhaps I should reconsider having the top half of a bald man’s head displayed next to everything I type.


  3. becomingcliche Says:

    Dear Lord! The Pontiac ad has me locking up the kids. I don’t want them getting any ideas. Seat belts are so important!


  4. Go Jules Go Says:

    Ice cream OR a glass of wine?

    At least I think that’s what you said. I’m still thinking about puppies. And you suddenly seem way more adorable than usual.


  5. Don't Quote Lily Says:

    What?! Seats are supposed to have seatbelts? You mean their primary purpose isn’t for…….oh no.

    So, are you using puppies to make yourself more appealing/adorable? Says my gravatar…


  6. mylifeisthebestlife Says:


    supermodel Anita supermodel


  7. Michelle Gillies Says:

    Oh yeah, seat belts…Sorry, I was noticing how that seat was bigger than my couch and that I really liked the colour…hmmm, that could work in my living room…oh, what?


  8. trixfred30 Says:

    Its jealousy. The person is jealous because you have a) lots of followers and b) Freshly pressed status. Freshly pressed is Level 5. Actually I just followed you because I felt sorry for you. But now I am getting jealous just thinking about it…


  9. Hippie Cahier Says:

    That’s a very suggestive font in the Pontiac ad. The “e” crosses all sorts of personal space boundaries.


  10. Michael Says:

    I wonder how all those puppies got there in the first place? You don’t suppose that’s Cruella de Vil’s mansion in the ad, is it? And what would she be doing with Cottonelle Toilet Tissue? ….on second thought, I don’t want to know what Cruella de Vil wants with Cottonelle Toilet Tissue.


  11. madtante Says:

    I swear to you, I read that “gold bras.” You can see where my mind was…in the backseat of that car.


  12. susielindau Says:

    Great tips! I am still learning about the craft of photography. I will remember to add provocative words to the bottom of my photos! I thought of a lot of examples, but wimped out….. 🙂


  13. Jackie Cangro Says:

    The title of your post alone made me click through.

    Byronic Man = furry and warm with slobbery drool 🙂


  14. Wilma Says:

    I don’t know. Is it wrong that the Cottonelle ad made me want to rub puppies on my butt? I’m not sure that was what they were going for.


  15. Angie Z. Says:

    I’m not understanding the sexuality undercurrent in the last one. I’m probably too innocent to get it. That’s why I prefer ads about puppies.

    Seeing that George Bush picture makes me think of Dukakis waving from a tank. Yeah, that association didn’t quite work out.


  16. Paul Says:

    I owned a Pontiac and told my girlfriend to spread her legs. She’s now my wife. I don’t smoke anymore but we do use Cottonelle. As for presidents, well, the least said, the better!


  17. Erynn Elizabeth Says:

    Weird how it proves your point that my honest reaction was, “Haha, you’re so silly, i love you.”


  18. anecdotaltales Says:

    Thanks. I feel happier and helpedier already. Whatta guy.


  19. artzent Says:

    So, where is the puppy? lol


  20. Audrey Says:

    [In my best zombie tone.] Must. Read. Byronic. Man. Blog.


  21. thesinglecell Says:

    I just realized this is totally why Barker’s Beauties and women in ads held products entirely to close to their own faces. Mind=blown.


  22. mistyslaws Says:

    Well, as much as I want to comment on this post, I can’t get past the irresistable and all-encompassing desire to just rub your belly.

    Wait, what were you saying again?


  23. Elyse Says:

    Wait. Are you saying that puppies are better that Mr. Whipple?


  24. Laura Says:

    The Cottonelle ad creeps me out a little. The portrait at the top of the stairs seems to indicate that the house is owned by an evil puppy scientist who’s created dozens of clones of himself.


  25. Valentine Logar Says:

    So are you saying I started smoking because I wanted to be a cowboy or do a cowboy? Which is it?

    Remember I am a Texan.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Hmmm, well, if you’re a Texan, the cowboy thing is in your DNA. The smoking thing, depending on what part of Texas you’re in, could either be a toughness thing, a barbecue thing, or that is was a cleaner alternative than breathing the air…


  26. speaker7 Says:

    Ooooh! Those puppies make me crave cigarettes and giant sculpted heads!


  27. She's a Maineiac Says:

    You need to change your blog tagline to the last line of this post. Redo your banner, slap up a few cutesy pics of patient bears drinking wine…your readership level would skyrocket.


  28. Lorna's Voice Says:

    Well, thanks a lot. You just revealed the secret to why men find me so attractive at the ripe old age of almost 55–it’s that 25 year old sexy blonde I have as my personal assistant who is never more than 1 inch away from me…


  29. Maria Says:

    Fantastic observations! The last one cost me my coffee, but the laugh was worth it.


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