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Animals in Advertising

Animals in advertising increase brand recognition and sales. That’s for sure! Do you remember all these cute kitties flooding the Internet! How does it work and why do we enjoy looking at cats, dogs and even crocodiles that can ‘sell’ everything to us?

Scientists have found out that using animals in adverts is one of the most common and effective tools in grabbing the audience’s attention. Consumers willingly associate the brand with the animal. For instance, Lacoste crocodile or two red bulls from Red Bull. However, it is only one of the reasons why advertisers use animals. It is significant how an image or a video with animals affect human mind and spark certain reactions.


How Animals Make Us Buy

1. Scientists say that people are subconsciously attracted to kids and infant-looking animals (due to Kwepi doll effect). We are literally programmed to like creatures with a big head and expressive eyes. Surely, advertisers cannot help but use this phenomenon to promote their product or service. By the way, pets are used more often than wild animals. First because consumers see pets in real life almost every day and marketers don’t have to waste time on educating public about them and their characteristics.

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2. You can choose an animal by concepts it associates with. For instance, the dog is a symbol of family and loyalty, the owl stands for wisdom, bees imply diligence. Define what feature of your product you want to stress and choose an appropriate animal.

animals in advertising  - 2 A horse in Mitsubishi advert.

3. Advertisers frequently attribute human characteristics to animals. And it works! People identify with such animals because they have generic human personality traits. For example, foxes are associated with craftiness, tigers with strength. It makes consumers more active.

4. Marketers regularly create shock social advertising with animals. Why? Just to encourage consumers to change the situation. For instance, animal shelters often show images of animals in overcrowded cages to persuade the viewer to adopt them.

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Moreover, according to scientists, human brains perceive negative information more effectively than positive one.

5. Despite of negative images, animals cause positive emotions as well. That’s why humorous and funny animal advertising is very effective. The study shows that people tend to recall positive, humorous texts and videos more often than shocking or simply informative one. And it is quite predictable as it is more pleasant to keep in mind this kind of information.

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6. Recent research at Northwestern Oklahoma State University has shown that images of real animals are used in commercials more often than cartoon animals. Besides, cats and dogs are the most popular creatures.

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Don’t forget to limit certain types of animals used in advertising to increase the effectiveness of further studies and to gain more specific results. And you will get an exact answer to the question — what animal suits a certain product better? Or what animal to use — real or cartoon? Keeping this information in mind, you’ll be able to control consumption behavior easier.


How to Use Animals in Advertising

Let’s study some real examples how to use different animals in ads.


Animals and their characters

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animals in advertising - 8  An owl in a zoo ad ‘WISDOM where learning happens naturally’

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animals in advertising - 10  A seal in air conditioning ads

We all know the elephant is big, the dog is faithful and the cheetah is fast. Why not to use these associations in advertising? Here are some interesting tips.


Well-known Animal Characters

A lot of animals from books, movies and series have moved into real life. Almost everyone knows Cheshire Cat, Hachiko and tyrannosaurus Rex. See great examples of ads featuring such animals.

animals in advertising - 11  Stuart Little in Top Gear ad

animals in advertising - 12  Godzilla in Fiat ad

animals in advertising - 14  Hachiko in dog food ad

animals in advertising - 15  Bugs Bunny in ketchup ad

animals in advertising - 16 Puss in Boots in Old Spice ad parody


Animals and Shock Advertising

Use animals if you want to draw attention to environmental problems, poaching and other important issues about life on the planet.

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But don’t overdo!

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Unexpected Use of Animals in Advertising

Animals can suddenly appear in adverts where you haven’t expected them. And it works!

animals in advertising - 30  Mr Muscle

animals in advertising - 31  Binoculars

animals in advertising - 32  Timotei

animals in advertising - 33  Lifebuoy Hand Wash

animals in advertising - 34  Protex Soap


Animals Looking Like Humans

Make animals look like real people in advertisement of garments, jewelry and various everyday products.

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Animals Looking Like Celebrities

See two advertising campaigns where animals look like celebrities.

Sunday Times Rich List.

animals in advertising - 40  Elton John

animals in advertising -41  Richard Branson

animals in advertising - 42  Simon Cowell

Animal protection advertisement

animals in advertising - 44  Bill Gates 

animals in advertising - 45  Donald Trump


Animals, Advertising and Sport

Note that most sport teams (any kind of sport) choose animals as their mascots. People recognize the team by its talisman and adore it. Not only fans are ready to buy all souvenirs with a picture of the mascot but also neutral consumers who just like a certain animal.

animals in advertising - 46 Tampa Bay Rays

animals in advertising - 47 Los Angeles Kings

animals in advertising - 48 Minnesota Wild

animals in advertising - 49 Chicago Bulls

animals in advertising - 50 Philadelphia Phillies 

Besides, commercials for Super Bowl, one of the most popular and expensive sports events in the world, also feature animals. For instance, Budweiser often use horses in their Super Bowl commercials.


Bonus. Vintage advertising

If you search properly, you can find advertisements that used to be popular during the Russo-Japanese War and Great Depression.

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Animals have been playing a big role in our lives lately. We have already posted an article about animals flooding Instagram. But it is not bad! Use their popularity as a benefit for your company, create eye-catching and interesting advertisements. And we are always ready to help you! Have a look at our animal photo gallery!