A yellow Labrador Retriever puppy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing some examination scripts for the Edinburgh Business School Consumer Behaviour course. One of the case study questions focused on toilet tissue and Andrex’s strategy over the last 40 years of using a soft and gentle cream coloured Labrador puppy as brand ambassador. Some 120 TV commercials later, the mischievous puppy has become synonymous with the Andrex brand.
Andrex is not the only brand to be convinced of the merits of animals in advertising. In the UK we are currently caught up in a campaign by Freeview which features the friendship between a cat and a budgie, and of course Compare the Market’s meerkats, launched in 2009, have become one of the most successful brand ambassadors of all time, their catchphrase “Simples” is so popular it's now in the Collins English Dictionary!.
And talking about things catching on, Three Mobile's hugely successful advertising campaign and SingItKitty app has sparked a frenzy of viral personalised videos. According to Luke Tipping at Wieden + Kennedy, the creative force behind the SingItKitty campaign: “Animals are popular because they’re aspirational. We wish we could be more like them. They live for the moment, are true in their affections and they don’t worry about having a bad hair day.” It seems animals can draw out an emotional response in us humans, so much so that they can turn ordinary toilet tissue, digital TV, insurance and mobile networks into something we care about. No mean feat!.