In the UK, we are a nation of dog lovers. What better animal to use to promote products and services on television? See below for our top ten dog advertising campaigns of all time, with some fun facts along the way
10. Dogs Trust – Balloons
This heart-warming advert depicts what the rehoming process would be like if dogs were able to send a message out to their perfect owners in the form of balloon dogs. The owners who find the balloon dogs, visit Dogs Trust to match their balloon with a dog eagerly waiting to be chosen. Whilst many charity adverts highlight the unhappy aspects of their cause, Dogs Trust always keeps its marketing light-hearted. On their website, Dog’s Trust reassures us that balloons were not in direct contact with the dogs, nor were any balloons released into the wildlife where they could potentially cause harm.
The Andrex puppy is truly an icon of television advertising. It’s difficult to see a labrador retriever puppy without thinking of the Andrex puppy adverts. As there have been many adverts featuring the puppy, including ones that made our list of the best 90s TV adverts, we’ve decided to show an advert that reflects on all of these as a part of their 75th Anniversary.
The Old English Sheepdog has been Dulux’s mascot for over 60 years. The association with this dog with Dulux is so iconic, many people don’t know they are old English Sheepdogs and instead refer to them as “Dulux Dogs”. When written, the average monthly search volume for “Dulux Dogs” is 9,900. This dog has taken many journeys throughout this time, from dreaming about singing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, shown above, to more recently where Dulux causes a spot of bother by shaking its muddy fur all over the paintwork. One of the many Dulux dogs has been played by “Spud”, owned by Gina Willis, who frequently appears at events, photoshoots and many other public appearances.
7. Guide Dogs – By my Side
The breed of dogs that commonly occur in Guide Dog advertising are Labrador Retrievers, similar to the dogs we see on Andex advertising. The Charity Guide Dogs commonly use Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and German Shephards, due to their intelligence and temperament. However, poodles have also been used, for benefits such as shedding less hair and therefore being better suited for those with allergies. In the advert we’ve chosen for this post, a girl is playing football and narrating to her dad how she is playing, after a disappointing match, we understand that her dad is visually impaired, walking home with a guide dog assisting.
More recently the Guide Dogs TV adverts feature a carton version of the classic dog, called Flash. This encourages people to sign up as volunteers to train future guide dogs.
The West Highland White Terrier stars in the Cesar dog food adverts and conveniently features on their packaging and branding too. In the advert that has made it onto this list, a security guard played by Steve Edge (commonly known for appearances in Pheonix Nights and Peep Show), spends his night shift with his dog, feeding him a bowl of Cesar dog food for breakfast. The heartwarming nature of this advertisement allowed it to be 6th in our list.
5. Tetley – Now We’re Talking
Featuring both a cat and a dog, this advert depicts what our pets get up to after we’ve left the house. Obviously, your pets will pop the kettle on and have a chat over tea about how unbearable it is to deal with us humans. The £3m funding in this Tetley campaign had the aim to modernise the brand, encouraging Tetley to regrow its dominance in the tea market. It also had the desire to encourage conversation on social media, by prompting questions of how milky to have your tea, and whether to put in the milk first or last.
4. Bakers Complete – Dogs Will Do Anything
This advert features a group of dogs determined to get their paws on a box of Bakers Complete, guarded by two dogs and security. The dogs work collectively to break into the room, set off the alarm but tuck into the food anyway. The two guard dogs initially look to capture the dogs, only to join in and eat the dog food too. This advert was also updated halfway through due to them updating their packaging in shape and appearance.
Churchill has used this iconic nodding dog in its advertising for over 30 years. More recently, their campaigns have taken a different approach with a CGI bulldog as opposed to a dog inspired by the nodding dashboard dog style we’ve seen in previous ads, playing on the word “chill” to emphasise the stress-free experience of using their insurance. For this post, we’ve picked out a favourite, with Churchill the dog and Martin Clunes helping their local area one fix at a time.
2. Flash – Ah-ah!
You can’t have a top ten dog adverts list without this gem. The Flash adverts featuring an Australian Labradoodle and a parody of the song Flash! By Queen has created a catchy jingle aimed to have reached 77% of the UK population. Since then the Flash dog has featured in many adverts, including to sell Flash Ultra and Flash Speed Mop. The popularity and creativity of this advert is what has placed it at no.2 in our list.
1. Think box
Finally, in our no.1 spot is the Think Box advertising campaign featuring Harvey. In this advert, Harvey’s owner is keen to throw out Harvey’s bunny toy. Conveniently, Harvey has made a television advert of his own, showcasing the close friendship of him and “Rabbit”. After watching the advert, the owner closes the bin without putting the toy in it. Harvey also went on some other adventures in other advertisements, including hide and seek games with Rabbit, and his love interest Harmony. The advert campaign was a big success, featuring in Nielsen’s study of the Most Liked Ads of 2012, Campaign’s Top 10 TV & Cinema Ads of 2012, and was also awarded by the 2013 British Arrows. We hope you agree that this top dog deserved the top spot.