MetLife has given Snoopy his walking papers.
After proudly serving the insurance company for 30 years, Snoopy is being put out to pasture as part of a company-wide “refresh” aimed at portraying MetLife as more sophisticated and financially savvy.
The beagle who has been appearing in MetLife ads since the 1980’s is not the sort of symbol they say they now need.
“We brought in Snoopy over 30 years ago to make our company more friendly and approachable during a time when insurance companies were seen as cold and distant,” said chief marketing officer Esther Lee.
“Snoopy helped drive our business and served an important role at the time,” she added. “We have great respect for these iconic characters. However, as we focus on our future, it’s important that we associate our brand directly with the work we do and the partnership we have with our customers.”
In other words, Snoopy and the Peanuts gang — as loved and symbolic as they are — are not the kind of symbols the company wants representing them in these times of doing whatever is necessary to make all the money you can possibly make.
You’ve got to admit, the Peanuts characters have never been known for their financial savvy.
Making obscene profits, and being able to talk with saying anything, are vital skills for the modern day American company.
MetLife seems to have that second part down. It’s not until the bottom of its press release about ushering in a new era that the company press release mentions the phasing out of Snoopy and the Peanuts gang — not until after they go on and on (and on) about their bold new company logo.
It’s the letter “M” — but not just any “M.”
“MetLife’s new visual branding is built around a clean, modern aesthetic,” the press release says. “The striking new brandmark brings contemporary blue and green colors together in a symbol of partnership to form an M for MetLife.
“The iconic MetLife blue carries forth the brand’s legacy, but has been brightened and now lives alongside a new color – green – which represents life, renewal and energy. The broader MetLife brand palette expands to include a range of vibrant secondary colors, reflecting the diverse lives of its customers.”
Zzzzzzzz. Good grief! AAUGH!!!
And Snoopy will no longer appear on the MetLife blimp.
Don’t cry too much for him, though.
He has plenty on his plate, or in his bowl.
PETA has offered him a job, at least in a tongue in cheek way, as mascot of its doghouse donation program.
Likely, he won’t jump at that, because he’s already sitting pretty. He — or at least descendants of his creator — still reap profits from arrangements with Hallmark, Warner Bros. and Target, CNN reports.
The Peanuts brand has more than 700 licensing agreements in about 100 countries, according to SEC filings. Iconix Brand Group (ICON) partnered with the family of Charles M. Schulz to buy the brand from two publishing houses for $175 million in 2010.
His TV specials will probably be watched by our great great grandchildren.
And he still has his gig with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Snoopy has floated down Broadway 39 times, more than any other character.
Let’s see an “M” do that.
(Woof in Advertising is a recurring ohmidog! feature that looks at how dogs are used in marketing. You can find earlier posts in this archived collection.)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 27th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advertisements, advertising, animals, charlie brown, commercials, company, corporate, dogs, dogs in advertising, dropped, fired, image, insurance, logo, lucy, marketing, met life, metlife, peanuts, perceptions, pets, snoopy, symbols, woof in advertising
As those who regularly tune in for our “Woof in Advertising” features know, there’s no animal — with the possible exception of the scantily clad human female — that advertisers turn to more often to sell their products than the dog.
It’s because of the special connection we have with the species, because of the qualities they have come to represent (like loyalty and trustworthiness to name two), and because they are, generally speaking, the cutest things ever.
Sure, pigs are associated with fatness, laziness and sloth (not traits your average bank would want to equate itself with), but those are the big farm versions that often become ham, pork chops and bacon. Not to mention wallets.
The miniature pig, while maybe not a whole different animal, symbolizes, well, we’re not sure what, but in this ad it represents independence, maybe mixed with a little streak of rebelliousness.
In the ad, a confident looking retired couple (we can only assume they have a nice nest egg) are taking their unique pet “Percy James” for a walk in the park.
“You live life your way,” a narrator says. “We can help you retire your way, too. Financial guidance while you’re mastering life. Chase … so you can.”
The song? It’s “Boombastic,” by Shaggy.
(Click on this link for more Woof in Advertising posts.)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 13th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advertising, animals, bank, chase, chase bank, commercials, couple, dog, dogs, investments, marketing, miniature pig, money, oink, oink in advertising, pets, pig, pigs, retired, savings, woof in advertising, woof!
If you notice ohmidog! has a slightly different look as of today, it’s because I’ve purged the site of advertising.
Except for a brief period when I first fired this website up, eight years ago, advertising has never brought in enough money to cover expenses.
That was the plan, but I never invested much effort in it. And what little effort I did put into it — much like my efforts at “search engine optimization” — was not an enjoyable use of time.
Life is too short to spend it wooing Google.
So, as of today, ohmidog! — while still planning to dazzle you daily, and remain your most trusted source of dog news — takes another step away from being a business, and another step closer to being a hobby.
That said, we are forever grateful to those advertisers that have been with us from the start and helped get us off the ground. We’re hoping the fact that we haven’t charged you for four years makes up for the abrupt break up.
I’ve come to the realization that I’m not a businessman; I’m more of a storyteller. And while the two can mix, I’m not good at mixing them.
Of course, I will still advertise myself (as any self-respecting blogger must) and tout from time to time the words I string together.
Those mentions — and who knows what else — will now move to the right side rail. (The ad for Bark magazine, as I sometimes write for them, falls under that category.)
All those shelters, humane societies, rescue organizations, animal advocates and doggy do-gooders that do what they do for something other than profit are now on the left side rail.
(There’s room for more. If your group would like its logo to appear there, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
There is, of course no charge for that and, as promised long ago, there will continue to be no charge to read our daily posts, no registration required, no annoying pop-ups, no hidden links and no advertising disguised as editorial content.
If you’d like to donate to ohmidog’s continuing operation, I won’t stop you. But I won’t twist your arm, either, and I promise we won’t have a week-long fundraising drive — at least not yet.
Under pressure from the Federal Trade Commission, the makers of Eukanuba dog food have agreed to stop claiming their brand extends the lives of dogs.
In a settlement that resolves a false advertising complaint filed by the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Mars Petcare will cease making the claim.
The FTC announced yesterday it had reached a settlement with Mars. Eukanuba began an advertising campaign last year claiming the brand could extend the expected lifespan of a dog by 30 percent or more.
“Two-thirds of all Americans have pets at home, and they spend billions of dollars to ensure that their pets are healthy and well-fed,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Pet owners count on ads to be truthful and not to misrepresent health-related benefits. In this case, Mars Petcare simply did not have the evidence to back up the life-extending claims it made about its Eukanuba dog food.”
The order settling the FTC’s charges prohibits Mars Petcare from making any misleading or unsubstantiated claims that its Eukanuba-brand pet food or any other pet food will enable any dogs to extend their lifespan by 30 percent or more or live exceptionally long lives.
In May 2015, Eukanaba began the marketing and ad campaign on television, in print, and on the Internet.
“Ten years ago, we launched a long life study,” one ad said. “What we observed was astonishing. With Eukanuba and proper care, dogs in the study were able to live beyond their typical lifespan.”
The ad then showed a dog named Iowa who, at 17, had lived five years beyond than the typical Labrador lifespan.
The ads were based on a “10-year Long Life Study” purportedly carried out at the Eukanuba Pet Health and Nutrition Center. Dozens of Labrador retrievers were fed Eukanuba and given “proper care” over that span.
The study found 90% of the dogs lived beyond the typical lifespan of the breed, with 28% living longer than 15 years.
The study was begun while Eukanuba was still owned by Procter & Gamble Co. Last year, Eukanuba, along with Iams and other smaller brands, was acquired by Mars Petcare.
The FTC alleges that the longevity claims are false or unsubstantiated and that the claim that longevity was proven through scientific evidence is false.
“Among other things, the evidence relied on by [Mars] for its representations concerning the Eukanuba brand dog food consisted primarily of results from a single study, the results of which showed no significant difference in the median age at death of the dogs in the study relative to the typical age at death of dogs of the same breed,” reads the complaint. “Therefore, the representations… were, and are, false or misleading.”
The FTC decision does not penalize the pet food company financially, and under it Mars neither admits nor denies any wrongdoing.
(More of our “Woof in Advertising” posts can be found here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 5th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advertising, agreement, animals, cease, claim, commercials, dog, dog food, dogs, eukanuba, extends, false advertising, federal trade commission, food, lifespans, lives, marketing, mars, mars petcare, nutrition, pets, settlement, study, truth in advertising, woof in advertising
This new ad campaign for a dog food company in Brazil is neither warm nor fuzzy.
Instead, it’s a little macabre — and aimed at persuading you that you should feed your pooch Special Dog brand dog food because, otherwise, he might share your secrets with the world.
In the spot above, for example, a Great Dane confronts his owner in bondage gear.
And in the one below, a Pomeranian catches his owner adding some of her deceased husband’s ashes to her tea.
And in what’s probably the most distasteful one of all, a pug becomes even more bug-eyed after he sees his owner sniffing his own fingers after engaging in some groin related couch behavior.
The message is your dog sees all, and knows all, so you better treat him right.
Kinda gross. Kinda funny. Not the kind of information a dog food customer is looking for, but you must admit they kind of stick in your head.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 6th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advertising, animals, behavior, brazil, commercials, dog, dog food, dogs, dogs in advertising, dogs in commercials, habits, humans, kinky, marketing, pets, special dog, what the dog knows, woof in advertising, woof!
Bored as I’ve become with the whole “bucket list” concept — for humans and dogs — I couldn’t help but being impressed with Subaru’s Impreza ad.
Subaru turns to dogs for its advertising more than any car maker — and continues to put out better ones than any car maker, even as other companies begin to catch on to the power pooches have in marketing.
This one reminded me of the year-long trip and Ace took across America five years ago, We didn’t called it a bucket list, preferring to have the fun we had before our bones got too creaky, and before one or both of us was on death’s doorstep.
(We called it Travels with Ace. It never turned into a published book, but you can read almost all of it here.)
Those include a brand new show to chew on, an unauthorized dip in a motel pool, a bone for the dog’s 14th birthday, reuniting with an ex-lover and more — all with Willie Nelson singing in the background.
The tag line: “It’s not just the miles in life; it’s what you make of them.”
Carmichael Lynch, the advertising agency, cast an 11-year-old rescue dog named Monkey in the lead role.
Willie Nelson, an avid animal rights activist, gave the agency permission to use the song — “I’ve Loved You All Over the World” — at a reduced rate.
Subaru launched the spot last July.
You can find more of our “Woof in Advertising” posts — looking at how dogs are used in marketing — here.
Posted by John Woestendiek May 10th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ads, advertising, animals, bucket list, dog, dogs, dogs in advertising, dream, dream weekend, impreza, marketing, pets, subaru, weekend, willie nelson, woof in advertising
As Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln ads go, this new one, thankfully, doesn’t strive as hard to be sublime as the others, but it’s almost as ridiculous.
Generally, the series of luxury car ads has seemed more intent on celebrating the actor’s looks and accessories than the motor vehicle’s, and more concerned with his lofty personal observations than the vehicle’s performance.
This time, at least, he’s not talking to himself as he pulls out the driveway of a ritzy neighborhood. This time, he’s not checking his cuff links, or contemplatively rolling an invisible something between his thumb and forefinger.
This time, it’s a little more down to earth — he’s talking to two dogs in the back seat, about where to go eat.
“Alright what do you think boys?” McConaughey asks the German shorthaired pointer and Weimaraner in back of the Lincoln Navigator. “We could do tacos, we could do some Thai. Oh what do you think about sushi?”
The dogs somehow convey to McConaughey that they want barbecue (again). But McConaughey, deeming himself the far superior creature, nixes their idea
“No, we’re not having barbecue again. Why? Because you’re on four legs and I’m on two.
“And I’m driving.”
He punctuates that last sentence with a clicking mouth noise and a wink. Maybe it’s supposed to come across as sexy and self-assured, or it could just be to distract us from the obvious question: “If you didn’t care what they wanted to eat, why did you bother asking them in the first place?”
McConaughey has three dogs of his own, but none of them was used for the ad.
“Lincoln and I wanted the new ad to be more lighthearted and fun, so when they pitched the ‘driving with dogs’ idea I was in,” McConaughey said. In a news release for the ad, he added, “People love their dogs, I’ve got three myself, and yes, I, like most of you, even talk to them.”
The commercial spot, called “Time to Eat,” got its first TV air time during the Grammy awards. It was directed by filmmaker Gus Van Sant.
“Gus really understood how to bring the story of the Lincoln Navigator to life,” Jon Pearce, executive vice president and global chief creative officer for the ad agency Hudson Rouge, said in the release. “The setting, our canine passengers and some pithy dialogue all work together to tell the story of the type of person who likes to drive a Navigator.”
And what kind of person is that? We can only guess a pithy one.
(Woof in Advertising is a recurring ohmidog! feature that looks at how dogs are used in marketing. You can find earlier posts in this archived collection.)
Posted by John Woestendiek March 23rd, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ad, advertisement, advertising, animals, commercial, dog, dogs, lincoln, marketing, matthew mcconaughey, navigator, pets, time to eat, woof in advertising