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Communication with substance.SM

Why using pets in your ad campaign sells

Bill Murray and the Groundhog in Jeep Super Bowl commercial

During the Super Bowl, there was a plethora of ads featuring dogs, cats, horses and many other lovable creatures. Jeep even brought back the groundhog. Why are advertisers focusing on our furry friends to sell goods and services? The answer is varied and more complex than it may seem.

The simple answer is animals make us happy. Pets provide us with comfort, warmth, affection, relaxation and unconditional love. These are all things many advertisers want us to identify with their brand.

When you dig deeper you realize animals provide a common ground. Gender, race, religion, political beliefs and lifestyle are irrelevant. Pets are pets and we all love them the same. They unite us into one collective group … animal lovers.

Animals are authentic. What you see is what you get. You do not need to figure out what a dog is thinking, it’s written all over its face. In a world where transparency matters, animals win. Furthermore, because authenticity sells these days … what’s more authentic than your love for a furry friend?

Animals evoke emotion. They represent nostalgia for childhood pets and trips to the zoo. They also represent the unconditional love that we all long for. For me, it’s remembering long lost days riding my horse, Reva.

And while some animals literally have to fight for daily survival, animals feel non-threatening. In a society that fosters competitiveness, it’s refreshing to connect with something that loves you simply because you’re YOU.

We are exposed to hundreds of messages every day asking us to buy this and do that. Next time you concept a new brand campaign, see if you can build your ideas around one of God’s creatures. After all, it worked for Budweiser.