There’s nothing I like more than a good song in an advert. Add a dog to the equation and, in my book, you’re usually onto a winner.
I’m a self-confessed dog-obsessive. The proud owner of 2 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Monty and Archie, I’m guilty of cooing, baby talking and general anthropomorphism (they’re not dogs, they’re my little men). And so, in the frivolous spirit of Friday, here are my favourite adverts which feature dogs and good music.
1) First up is Thinkbox’s ‘Dog Home’ ad, the brainchild of creatives Mark Slack, Gemma Phillips and Justin Tindall of The Red Brick Road.
Watch Harvey the dog iron, mow the lawn, drive the kids to school, cook dinner, and tuck you in at night, all to the tune of 70’s classic ‘You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet’ by Bachman Turner Overdrive. The ad saw Thinkbox.tv’s traffic increase by over 400%, winning awards from D&AD, British Arrows, APA Collection, Animal Spot Awards, Creative Circle, David Reviews Ads of the Year and the Dogs Trust Canine of the Year.
2) Next up we have Wall’s Sausages ‘Kitchen’ ad from creatives Dan Warner and Andy Vasey of Saatchi & Saatchi, London.
Overjoyed to be served sausages and chips, a bloke slides a ring box over to his missus. She opens to find a tiny, Gulliver’s Travels-esque dog called Alan, who proceeds to rap like Mike Skinner whilst playing his tiny electric keyboard. I don’t know about you, but I’d take a tiny French bulldog serenading me over a ring any day.
3) This controversial Volkswagen ‘Polo Confidence’ ad from DDB London is one of my favourites.
A nervous and sad-looking Jack Russell is transformed upon riding in a Volkswagen Polo, happily belting out Spencer Davis Group’s ‘I’m a Man’. Unfortunately the RSPCA got involved and the light-hearted ad was consequently banned. Volkswagen’s response? “The dogs are highly trained. They can do almost anything. They can shake if they are happy or excited – they were not scared.”
4) Back to Thinkbox and Harvey for their ‘Harvey and Rabbit’ spot.
His owner tries to sneakily throw away his well-worn stuffed rabbit toy, but Harvey has other ideas. To the theme of ‘Friends’ by Adam Buxton, Harvey treats us to a video montage of all the good times he’s had with his best mate Rabbit. And who could say no to that face? Not Hollywood, apparently, as Sykes (his real name) has appeared alongside A-list actors including Charlize Theron, Jude Law and Johnny Depp in movies such as Snow White And The Huntsman, The Other Boleyn Girl and Pirates Of The Caribbean.
Rabbit should be chuffed he still gives him the time of day…
5) Last but not least is the latest Caesar campaign: ‘Love Them Back’ from AMV BBDO.
Creatives Diccon Driver and Alan Wilson “wanted to create a campaign which owners can truly relate to and which really showcased that dogs are much more than pets to people; they’re friends and companions that give unconditional love.”
So they went to Croatia and shot this heartwarming story of an older gent (an 85 years old, slightly deaf, slightly blind man who had never acted before and only spoke Macedonian) and his tender relationship with his dog. Accompanied by the beautiful piano track ‘Walk Through The Village’ by Tom Hodge, it’s a struggle not to get slightly teary-eyed.
I’m now sat here watching Monty and Archie snore away on the floor and wondering why they can’t act, sing, mow the lawn or play the electric keyboard. It’s ok though, because they look like this: