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!
Just in time for the Olympics, Farmers Insurance has come out with a new series of ads featuring dogs making the best of a flooded home.
The venue? The living room of a home that flooded after one of the dogs turned on the kitchen faucet, causing the sink to overflow.
That part of it, Farmers says, is based on a real claim.
The “Mer-Mutts,” as they are becoming known, are featured together and in separate spots featuring the dives of each — complete with commentary.
You can find all of them here.
Oscar winning actor J.K. Simmons introduces the ad, calling the event a combination of “form, grace and ill-behaved dogs.”
(You can find more of our Woof in Advertising posts here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek August 9th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ads, animals, commercials, compete, diving, dog, dogs, dogs in advertising, events, farmers, farmers' insurance, flood, flooded, home, marketing, mer mutts, mermutts, olympics, pets, synchronized swimming, videos, woof in advertising
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!
This year’s crop of Super Bowl ads was disappointing — and not just because there weren’t enough commercials with dogs in them.
I counted two ads in which dogs played a significant role, compared to nearly a dozen featuring celebrities, among them Alec Baldwin, Jeff Goldblum, Helen Mirren, Amy Schumer, Anthony Hopkins, Seth Rogen, Christopher Walken, Kevin Hart, Willem Dafoe, Liam Neeson, Ryan Reynolds and Drake.
And throw in a dizzying amount of special effects.
Yes, there was that stampede of dachshunds, all in hot dog costumes, making a mad dash for the Heinz family of condiments:
And there were those dogs scheming on how to get their paws on some of the Doritos displayed in the grocery store.
Neither of those knocked me out, and they pale in comparison with some of the far more funny, far more human, dog ads of previous Super Bowls.
Several other ads featured dogs in small supporting roles — in an ad with singing sheep, and in one where a town seems to occupied nearly entirely by clones of Ryan Reynolds (as if we’re not already seeing enough of the real one of him).
Then, too, a dog was part — and I do mean part — of my least favorite dog-related Super Bowl ad.
Mountain Dew, in an ad for its new beverage, Kick Start, unveiled a puppy-monkey-baby that looked like it would be more at home in a bad acid trip. I can only assume its creators had a little too much Kick Start during their creative process.
I didn’t keep a tally, but I’m pretty sure monstrous or otherwise fictional creatures far outnumbered dogs in this year’s ads — just as special effects far outnumbered moments of humanity, and flash far outdistanced substance.
I won’t show you the worst of them — that pink blob of bulging intestines wandering the stadium in search of a free bathroom. Nor will I mention the name the prescription drug it advertised. I’ll just remind you that Super Bowl ads cost $5 million per spot — and that’s just for the time.
Throw in the production costs involved with having a celebrity or animated intestinal blob tout your product and you’ll begin to understand why you probably won’t be paying bargain prices for anti-diarrhea meds or your next Hyundai.
All in all, Super Bowl ads this year left me unimpressed, feeling a little cold, and feeling a little old. They often left me creeped out — and I include the “Super Bowl babies” in that group. (Is the NFL so hard up for something to brag about that it must boast that the big game makes people copulate?)
This year’s ads left me longing for some of those ads of previous years — when dogs were dogs, and men were men, and internal organs stayed inside us.
Not being a big fan of talking dogs, dogs in costume, or dogs being part of some monstrous hyperactive multi-species hybrid, I didn’t really have a favorite dog ad among them.
Instead, I’d have to give this year’s top honors to the Subaru ads featured during the Puppy Bowl.
(You can find more of our Woof in Advertising posts here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 8th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advertising, alec baldwin, amy schumer, animals, Anthony Hopkins, baby, celebrities, Christopher Walken, commercials, dogs, dogs in advertising, doritos, Drake, heinz, Helen Mirren, humanity, hyundai, intestines, Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Hart, kia, kick start, Liam Neeson, marketing, monkey, mountain dew, pets, puppy, puppy bowl, puppy monkey baby, puppymonkeybaby, Ryan Reynolds, Seth Rogen, special effects, subaru, super bowl, super bowl 50, super bowl ads, Willem Dafoe, woof in advertising
It’s that (one) time of year that we get excited about commercials — and while those that air during the Super Bowl always get the most hype, Subaru is again focusing its advertising efforts on the Puppy Bowl.
Five new ads showcasing the Barkleys, the family of retrievers that first rolled onto the scene in 2013, will be airing in coming weeks and during Puppy Bowl XII on Animal Planet.
The ads are part of Subaru’s “Dog Tested Dog Approved” campaign.
The ads do a great job of intertwining quirky human behavior and quirky dog behavior with some highly laughable results.
In “Phone Navigation,” the Barkleys try to communicate with their smartphone voice assistant, but run into a bit of a language barrier.
“Puppy” shows the Barkleys taking a nighttime drive to try to get their little one to sleep.
And in “Bad Hair Day” Dad picks up Mom from the hair salon and is unsure what to make of her makeover.
Subaru has long been at the forefront of car companies catering to dog owners.
“Subaru and its customers have a deep connection to pets. Eight out of 10 Subaru owners are pet owners, and our brand continues to support the causes and initiatives that our customers care about,” said Alan Bethke, vice president of marketing at Subaru of America.
(Woof in Advertising is a semi-regular feature on ohmidog! that looks at how dogs are used in marketing. You can find more posts here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 1st, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ads, advertising, animals, barkleys, commercials, dogs, dogs in advertising, marketing, pets, puppy bowl, puppy bowl XII, retrievers, smartphone, subaru, super bowl, video, woof in advertising