Why Use Animals in a TV Ad?

20th April 2022

Advertising with Animals Emotional Response

It’s been proven TV audiences experience positive emotions for animals, marketers use them to stimulate association between the feelings for the animal and the brand. this results in product loyalty resulting in an increased consumer trust in the brand and market share. Meaning, animals promote buying behaviour.

Examples of Animals in Commercials

In the UK, there are numerous examples of brands that include animals in their ads, whether through live action shoots, stock footage or animation. For instance Andrex, Compare the Meerkat and Cadbury guerrilla to name a few, and clearly it works! Andrex has nearly twice the market share of its nearest competitor. And that is all thanks to the Andrex Puppy.

Andrex Puppy Advert

When it first appeared in an Andrex TV advert in 1972, Andrex’s market share was 23%. Concluding  1970s, this had risen to 30%. Today, over 130 adverts later, it is by far the most recognisable brand of toilet paper in the UK.

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The Psychology of Using An Animal in TV Advertising

As humans, and more precisely as consumers, we are often influenced by our emotional reactions. In fact, some studies argue that up to 95% of all purchasing decisions are decided subconsciously – in turn driven more by emotional reactions than by thought or reason.

Animal Advert Emotional Response

Whilst this may ruffle some feathers among marketers, it shows the effect that our emotional responses have over the choices we make. Meaning few things can evoke those emotions as strongly as our feelings towards animals, cute, funny, scary, tactile animals.

Attachment to animals in advertising

Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution describes the perfect example.  He compares the commonality between animal species as innate, which forms a link between animals and humans. This explains the attachments that humans feel not only to their beloved pets, but to animals in general – either domesticated or wild. Hence why animals in TV commercials are such an effective tactic.

YouTube and Animal Videos

This emotional bond is evident. Proven by YouTube’s popular animal videos. Humans are fascinated by animals, and they will typically elicit strong positive or negative emotions upon sight of them. Because of these emotional bonds, they will often capture our attention when they are featured on TV adverts or brand logos, whether they are real-life versions like the Andrex Puppy, or animated equivalents, like Aleksandr Orlov of Compare The Meerkat fame.

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Benefits of Using Animals In Advertising

As well as our races tendency to be influenced by our emotions, human beings are also predominantly led by visual stimulus around us. More than 50% of the surface of our brains is dedicated to processing information visually, this means we often respond to and understand imagery more strongly than we would audio or text alone.

Why Use Animals in Adverts and Commercials?

Considering this, animals have a positive allure that makes them very effective when trying to capture someone’s attention in order to sell things. If we feel a positive association with a particular creature, we are more likely to be opening to relating to what they’re selling.

Animals in Advertising increase emotive responses

The powerful emotional bonds that we share with animals and our preference to absorb information visually, means that an effective animal-driven logo or campaign can really resonate with people in a way that other visuals lack.

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What To Consider When Using Animals In Advertising?

Although it’s true there are thousands of brands that showcase animals in their logos and advertising campaigns, it is not a sure path to success. Before you consider incorporating animals into your iconography or wider advertising, consider:

  • What sort of animal embodies the traits and characteristics you associate in your brand?
  • Consider how your customers might interpret seeing a certain animal in your advertising? positive/negative etc.
  • Are the animals attractive, comical, stationary enough on their own, or would they be better animated?
  • Does your design style lend itself effectively to the animal you intend to use?

When you have strong answers to all of these questions, you’re likely on the path to producing the next WWF Panda, Twitter songbird, or Aleksandr the Meerkat campaign.

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Animal Mascots in Advertising

There are countless animals used in advertising as mascots to sell the brand. A great Space City example would be Quidco, with El Calima the squid. Alternatively some examples of our adverts where we include animals are Karcher, British Seniors, Bella & Duke. 

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Animals In Advertising Welfare

When using an Animal in a TV advert, the animal’s welfare is of paramount importance. There are a number of ways Space City ensure the safety and comfort of the animals on set. A few include:

  • Having a qualified vet on set to ensure the animals health and safety is taken into consideration throughout the entire shoot day
  • Having a handler on set to ensure the animal does not exceed their limitations, and so that the pet is well hydrated, fed and cared for throughout the shoot.
  • Preemptively organising dietary, medication and/or care measures are taken into consideration before and on the shoot. This is often achieved through conversations between the animal’s agent and the shoot producer.
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