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November 8, 2010 / Tara Gremillion

Animals in Ads = Smart Advertising

Animals are used quite often in advertising and are very effective. They make an instant emotional connection with us as they remind us of ourselves and our pets. They offer warm relationships and empathy internationally. Animals in advertising offer a huge advantage because they can appeal to all people unlike a particular ethnicity or demographic of humans. They are a great way to surround a brand with positive emotions and associations other than how much a product costs. Additionally, they evoke many different emotions in the viewer and can impact people to start making positive choices in their life.

Each animal that is used in an ad stands for something and is associated with a particular message that relates to that animal’s stereotype. Bears are used because of their expressive face and ability to act nearly human.

Elephants provide contrast with large and small and can stand for escape, adventure and discovery.

Cats emphasize luxury as they lay around all day in a safe, warm home environment, or they associate with hunting, night vision, and their bigger and more dangerous relatives.

Fish usually stand for something valuable missing, freedom, improvement and the future. And sharks… sharks pose an obvious danger, risk, threat and an unpleasant surprise.

And then there is my personal favorite, an animal that always captivates my attention and turns my heart into mush… puppies! Dogs are used often in advertising because they represent loyalty and a man’s best friend.

They have a way of representing a valid member of your family more than any other pet. Often pleasing your dog, weighs the same as pleasing the most important people in your life. Because of their continuous love and passion for people, most people feel sympathy and compassion for them. I find it impossible to dislike any advertisement that has a puppy associating with a product. It is just too hard to resist.

Using animals is affective because it is easy to evoke humor and bring attention to the ad. Often when advertisements put animals in place of where humans normally would be, it brings a new humor to the ad. Most people also can relate to the humor of the animal because they have seen their own pets or others in similar hilarious situations. Additionally, using animals as spokespeople helps the brand develop an identity. They may be just as powerful as a spokesperson, but you don’t have to pay them as much!


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