[video] “Purina Dog Chow” Commercial 2012 – Critiqued By Advertising Expert Tim Burt – Part 2 Of 2 Dog Food Commercial Series

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.

Special Thanks

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: timburtmedia@gmail.com



About timburtmedia

30,000+ ads globally. Commercial Advertising Marketing - world-wide audio producer, voice-over talent, copywriter.
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1 Response to [video] “Purina Dog Chow” Commercial 2012 – Critiqued By Advertising Expert Tim Burt – Part 2 Of 2 Dog Food Commercial Series

  1. Andy Waits says:

    I agree with the assessment that the ad lacks a connection between the dog and Purina. An alternative would have been would have been to break the mood when it came time for the dog to say “hi,” but he’s too busy gobbling Purina from his bowl in the background. Still has the emotional hook at the beginning, with a funny twist that does the trick of tying Purina to the dog.

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