In the first half of this special two-part series on dog food television advertisements, loyal reader William T. wanted me to critique a commercial for Beneful which you can see here.
William also requested that I review this spot for Purina (r) Dog Chow (r)
What These Two Commercials Have In Common
They focus heavily on the emotional attachment people/families have to their dog(s). I’m a “dog” person myself. I understand where they’re trying to go with these.
While the Beneful commercial I reviewed in my last post is completely devoid of any reason to buy their product, this particular Purina ad is stronger in the “realism” department.
It’s Totally Believable
that the guy in the airport is on his way to (yet) another city – not home – and the wife gets the daughter and dog on the call. The dog is the syrupy-sweet icing on the cake.
This is what most – if not all – “dog families” (as the voiceover mentioned) do. The dog is a member of the family. They’re included in photos, on video calls, etc.
It’s normal, and it’s believable.
This part of the advertisement is set up masterfully. It’s well shot, and (for the most part) well acted.
Where This Commercial Falls Short
is in the attachment back to Purina.
Here is where advertisers and the “Creative Team” have to walk a very fine line.
The cheesy, easy route would have been to force the Purina brand into the husband’s inner monologue (like he did with the daughter) when he thought “don’t grow up without me”.
Yet you don’t want to completely ignore the product in the setup – which is what happened here.
Yes, all dog (and pet owners) want their animal friend(s) to be around as long as possible.
The question is: how does feeding my dog Purina lengthen their life span?
Unfortunately, we never get an answer. The announcer just tells us to feed Fido Purina. Why? Because it’s (allegedly) good for them. Or something like that.
Would It Have Been Better, Worse, Or Indifferent
if the dog was eating from a bowl that had the Purina logo on it? Without seeing it, I don’t know. It flirts with pushing the “realism” needle down a bit.
The Clear-Cut Winner
is this Purina ad. While it’s not quite as strong as it could be in explaining the benefits of Purina, it’s nowhere near as detached as the Beneful commercial.
To William T. for the request to review these commercials.
Have you seen/heard/read an advertisement you’d like me to review? Good, bad, or perplexing, let me have a go at it.
Just email me the link or links: firstname.lastname@example.org