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Puppies And Babies Bring Smiles To Consumers During Tough Times

September 17, 2020 Sarah Cavill

Shutterstock_267449483 Newborn baby and a dachshund puppy sleeping together.

Anyone that lives with a teenager is very likely to be texted many, many TikTok videos every day. And, these videos usually feature, in addition to people doing dumb things, animals doing dumb things (or cute things and sometimes wearing clothes). When humans are looking for laughs or pick-me-ups, animals and babies are often a sure bet, and brands have known this since the first Jack Russell cocked his head at a gramophone more than a hundred years ago. With the positive mindset benefits of puppies and babies in mind, several companies, including Farrow & Ball and Pampers, have recently launched new campaigns with dogs or babies, bringing smiles to the faces of consumers and creating multichannel campaigns that resonate with shoppers. 

High-End Paint Brand Farrow & Ball Launches First-Ever Multichannel Ad Campaign, And It Features A Dog In A Jumpsuit

For Farrow & Ball’s first commercial campaign, the high-end paint brand tackles the age-old problem of keeping walls clean and perfect after completing a paint job. Between dogs and kids, homeowners need to get creative. In one spot, a couple and their very wet and muddy dog pop by to see a friend’s freshly redone home. As the visiting couple is admiring the beautiful paint job, their host has outfitted the dog in a custom protective jumpsuit so he doesn’t muddy the place up. It’s a very funny bit, and Farrow & Ball deftly reminds shoppers that dogs in jumpsuits aren’t actually necessary, since the new stain-resistant Modern Emulsion is washable and wipeable. 

In addition to the commercials, the British brand launched print and digital out-of-home campaigns, and “Wipe Away Negativity,” a social media campaign. In the “Wipe Away Negativity” campaign, the brand uses negative comments and common misconceptions about Farrow & Ball frequently shared in reviews on social media, like “Farrow & Ball paint is a total disaster when you have kids.” The comments are written on freshly painted walls in the commercials and then wiped clean with the tagline “Relax, it’s wipeable,” effectively “erasing” the incorrect viewpoint. The new campaign for Modern Emulsion appeals to busy parents dealing with messy kids and dogs, but who still want nice things. A paradox.

Pampers #ShareTheLove Campaign Reminds Moms How Special They Are

In what seems like spooky prescience now, Pampers launched the #ShareTheLove campaign in February, right before the pandemic took hold in the U.S. The campaign launched with a commercial that showed frazzled moms trying to balance stressful lives and care for their babies, but not quite feeling like they are doing enough. The Pampers spot reminds moms to remember they are loved, with a child’s voiceover saying, “You are beautiful. You are smart. You are strong. You are kind. You are perfect,” and the tagline, “Imagine if we saw ourselves the way our babies see us.”

In addition to the very heart-tugging commercial spot, the #ShareTheLove hashtag has been used across social media with Pampers encouraging parents to use the hashtag to shout out other parents and deploying the hashtag when discussing their corporate social responsibility initiatives, like the 6.4 million diapers the brand donated to Feeding America to help families struggling during COVID-19.

Comedian Jon Lovitz Leverages His Cranky Persona For A New Product Geared At Older Dogs

Former SNL star Jon Lovitz hates puppies. At least he does in the most recent spot from Playology promoting the brand’s new Silver Line of dog toys specifically designed for older dogs. In the Playology commercials, Lovitz teases an adorable scrum of puppies, saying, “So helpless. So disgusting. That they get all the attention. That they get all the good gadgets and toys. What about older dogs that have given you years of loyalty?” A beautiful older dog gets the love and the new toys, while the puppies take revenge on Lovitz’s shoe. The spots are sweet and funny, because of course Lovitz doesn’t actually hate puppies and remembering the needs of beloved older dogs is a great, and far less common, message in advertising geared at pet owners. The Playogy Silver campaign is launching across social media. 

People are drawn to puppies and babies, it’s practically scientific at this point. And, honestly, the world is a little upside down right now. So if a brand can effectively land a chuckle or pluck a heartstring with a well-placed baby or dog, most consumers will welcome the distraction. Of course, brands must remember who they are and what their customers value, and make sure any puppy and baby-centered advertising meets the needs of their campaigns and builds brand equity that makes sense across channels.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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