Those of us who are old enough remember Kellogg's Frosted Flake's Tony the Tiger. Leo Burnett also created Charlie the Tuna for StarKist and Morris the Cat for 9Lives. And Taco Bell used a chihuahua dog in its advertising.
But lately, more and more advertisers are using animals in their ads. One might ask "Why?" It has long been known that humor lowers resistance to advertising messages and that sex, violence and emotion lead to better recall. Animals in ads are attention grabbing. Research has also shown that animals reduce resistance to ads and create emotional connection with people. People are naturally attracted to animals, especially baby animals, which are perceived to be cute and stimulate the nurturing instinct. Further, there are big advantages to anthropomorphizing animals, not only because they are more relatable but also because their personalities can reinforce the personalities of the brand. Finally, using animals instead of celebrities as brand spokespeople is less risky and much more cost effective.
Here are some other brands that have used animals in their advertising:
- Coca-Cola's polar bear
- Budweiser's clydesdales
- Snuggle Bear
- Charmin Bear
- Geico's gecko
- Aflac's duck
- Wonderful Pistachios' Ernie the Elephant
- John West Salmon's grizzly bears
- Colace's fluffy white bunny
Geico has also used a squirrel in its advertising. Bridgestone used a squirrel in its similar but funnier ad. And Nestle Kit Kat ran a squirrel ad in India.
Notice that many of these ads also use humor. And John West Salmon uses a very power combination - animals, humor and violence.
Here is a video of the top 10 Super Bowl ads featuring animals. And here is a video featuring funny animals in commercials.