Pedigree has been getting lots of marketing mileage through pointing out the good that dogs do for people—and vice versa. Now the Mars-owned pet food brand has tackled perhaps the ultimate challenge in this campaign: proving how the love of canines can even unite people across political lines.
In the latest installment of its global “Feed the Good” campaign, which launched in 2015, Pedigree has charged right into America’s political polarization ahead of the Presidential election on Nov. 8th. It created a “lost dog” scenario at a Clinton rally featuring someone in a Trump shirt finding the pooch and coming up to Hillary supporters and asking for help in finding the owner—and vice versa.
Reassuringly, “A Vote for Good” (by BBDO New York) showed people on the right and left rallying around the dog-finding efforts and even end up saying some unifying things about humanity—all because of the “good” done for a dog.
“During a time that our country is very much divided, our hope with ‘A Vote for Good’ is that we can play a small role in reminding people that we are more alike than we are different,” Craig Neely, vice president of marketing for Mars Petcare, which has bought time to run the full 3-minute film on Fox and CNN today and tomorrow, told brandchannel.
The most recent video before this one was “Dark to Light,” about the journey of a single mother who is going blind and the difference that a dog has made in her life.
In another video in the campaign, two men (one white, one black) are shown walking their dogs. When the dogs meet on the sidewalk, so do the men, icily at first—and then warmly as the dogs take to each other.
In another example, Pedigree produced a downloadable video for kids in New Zealand, “A Dog’s Story,” about dog safety.
brandchannel asked Neely about the “Feed the Good” campaign and the good that it’s doing.
bc: Craig, is this the first time the Pedigree brand has tackled big political issues?
Craig Neely: Through the “Feed the Good” campaign, we have sought to take on issues that can help demonstrate the positive power dogs have in our lives.
Our “Rescued” spot highlights the story of a wounded veteran and his service dog that helped him find his way after returning home.
“Dark to Light” tells the emotional story of a single mother who suddenly lost her eyesight and how her guide dog changed her life for the better.
bc: How does “A Vote for Good” extend the “Feed the Good” campaign?
Neely: The message in the video—that deep down we’re more alike than different—is true to the core of the campaign that dogs bring out the good in all of us, despite our differences.
bc: To speak to the bigger campaign’s core premise, how does making the world a better place for dogs benefit humans, too?
Neely: Dogs bring out the good in us, so we want to do the best we can for them. The video is just one proof point that we can put aside our differing views and beliefs for a few minutes to achieve a common goal.
bc: How do you select the issues to bring into “Feel the Good”? The last ad, for example, pioneered using descriptive video tech to highlight its visually impaired dog owner. Another highlighted our military veterans while a third ad featured ex-cons, for example.
Neely: The beauty of a global campaign anchored in a universal insight is that we can leverage culturally and contextually relevant moments to bring our campaign to life in some powerful ways.
bc: “Feed the Good” is a global campaign—are you doing anything different in other markets that we may not be seeing in the US?
Neely: The “Feed the Good” work taps into relevant cultural themes, calling attention to the way dogs affect people’s lives for the better, and the role Pedigree plays in feeding a dog’s good nature. Every country is free to interpret and execute the idea as is culturally relevant.