There’s a reason people who don’t even like cats watch cat videos. They’re cute. They take us away from the daily grind and make us smile over something innocent and sweet—which is in short supply today. With cat or dog videos we just smile instinctively a natural child-like smile...and we don’t feel provoked or manipulated into thinking or feeling. But are we? We all care more when we see an animal in a movie get hurt versus yet another bleeding human because the animal is the innocent bystander of our crazy lives.
Companies use animals in all sorts of ads because they know people love to watch animals doing goofy things, interact with humans, and display those pure emotions. Every day we see or interact with hundreds of people either through mass transit commuting, working in an office or building, or even interacting online. Nowadays not seeing a human is the rarity and seeing animals still surprising.
Ads that feature cute or unusual animal faces – especially ones that express almost human emotion -- catch our attention and speak to us in a light hearted way. Panasonic’s close-up of a gorilla is not only hilarious it catches our attention because he’s staring right at us...and in a goofy way. The gorilla is trying to focus but we are “so close” that it goes cross-eyed or we are so close that we see its crazy expression. How close can you get with a Panasonic lens? Apparently very close. As kids we all crossed our eyes to make our friends laugh so we are also subtly reminded to be silly and smile...which is what taking pictures and making memories is all about.
Clearly, animal ads don’t have to be about pet products. They just need to use the 'irresistibility' factor to speak where a human message would be dull. The wide-eyed dog promoting turkey is doing what dogs do best—beg adorably. No one can resist cute or funny pets and these ads prove that we will listen if an animal speaks.
Morty Silber, CEO
Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner