AdMiration feature: Pedigree’s “Love at first sight”

Isa Franzini & Kim Malcolm

For this week’s AdMiration feature, we researched two 15-second Pedigree ads: “Party” and “Rain.” 

Both of these ads are part of Pedigree’s “Love at first sight” campaign that’s aimed at supporting and advocating for pet adoption from local shelters.  

Read on to get our 3-2-1 snapshot of the ad (3 facts, 2 learnings and 1 reflection) and learn how their ad was received based on our data.

The ads: Pedigree’s “Love at first sight”

Pedigree’s “Party” ad opens to a man dressed in a suit who is clearly at a party, with confetti falling all around him, who appears to be professing his love to someone as he intensely states, “I know we just met, but I can’t imagine my life without you.” 

The camera pans, surprisingly, to a small dog inside an animal shelter. The scene zooms out and you see the man, still dressed to the nines with confetti falling just around him, standing in front of the dog. The scene concludes with the man sitting down by the dog’s side as the dog eats some Pedigree food and a line on the screen stating “Love at first sight isn’t just in the movies. It’s available at your local shelter.” 

The ad closes with a shot of Pedigree dog food and the line “Feed the good. Adopt.”

Pedigree’s “Rain” ad opens to a scene of a woman standing in the dark, pouring rain, emotionally exclaiming, “I’ve wanted an eternity with you from the second I met you!” 

The camera again pans to a dog sitting inside an animal shelter. As the scene zooms out, the woman is seen standing inside the shelter, this time with rain still falling all around her. The scene concludes with the woman (now dry and no longer surrounded by rainfall) sitting down by the dog’s side as the dog eats some Pedigree food and a line on the screen stating “Love at first sight isn’t just in the movies. It’s available at your local shelter.” 

The ad closes with a shot of Pedigree dog food and the line “Feed the good. Adopt.”

3-2-1 snapshot

3 facts

  • Both ads are exceptional in their ability to drive immediate sales, falling in the top 5% of all US ads.  

  • The ads are highly emotive, evoking a strong love reaction with multiple peaks. The peaks occur in three places: When you see the dog in each scene, with the reveal that love at first sight isn’t just in the movies and finally with the key message of finding love at your local shelter. 

  • Both ads are highly distinctive, grabbing and holding attention throughout their short 15 second length.

2 learnings

  • A short ad doesn’t have to limit effectiveness or the ability to create strong emotion. It is possible to find the right story and deliver it with precision even within 15 seconds. 

  • A twist can be a powerful way to create engagement and make an ad memorable by taking viewers on a journey.

1 reflection

Championing a cause can be a great thing to do, but easy to get wrong. If you are championing a cause, have you made sure that it is authentic for your brand and something that will be appreciated? Is it something you can support over time? And have you made sure that any execution highlights your brand as well as the cause through distinctive assets and a storyline that gives space for your brand in an authentic way? 

Watch us walk through the data on the Zappi platform
About the Love at first sight series

Both of these ads are part of Pedigree’s “Love at First Sight” campaign created by BBDO New York. The campaign aims to support pet adoption and show that love at first sight can still exist and is available at your local shelter! 

The campaign touches upon how in today’s world, especially with all the dating apps and social media platforms, the magic of falling in love seems more difficult than ever before. But that magic can still be found when you find your perfect match in a furry friend. 

On top of supporting a magical cause, Pedigree is also set to launch a “dating site” to match shelter dogs with their perfect human partner as another part of their campaign. 

A deep dive into the ad’s performance

Both ads fall in the top 5% of all US ads in their ability to drive immediate sales (Sales Impact: 95 for both ads) and are in line with average in potential to drive brand equity and long term sales (Brand Impact: 63 for “Rain” and 40 for “Party”).

Men found the ads to be more impactful, with greater resonance of the relationship between human and dog (Brand Impact for men for “Rain”: 76).

Pedigree sales and brand impact scores

The real strength of the ads is in their ability to evoke a strong feeling of love. Almost half of respondents choose ‘love’ as the strongest emotion they were left with after watching the ads. 

While humans and animals have strong emotional connections (which can often help to boost emotional response) these ads goes far beyond simply featuring a dog and instead cleverly use a twist to tell a surprising and heartwarming story with a message that people love: Love at first sight is available at your local shelter.

Pedigree ads Love scores

This is reflected in the moments that drive love, which occur in three clear spikes. The first is during the twist in “Party” when the audience realizes that what the man cannot imagine living without is the rescue dog. The second is when the text explains that “Love at first sight isn’t just in the movies.” And the third is when the text “It’s available at your local shelter” is shown. 

These peaks in love, combined with how few people skip the ad, show just how engaging the story is.

Pedigree ads emotions chart

Here’s what some of our respondents liked most about the ads:

The twist:

  • "I love the misdirection to start, that you think it's a love story between people, then it turns out to be adopting a dog! The message is fantastic - adopting a shelter dog."

  • "I liked the drama at the beginning, making it seem like a romantic human movie and then turning the camera onto the dog was funny as was showing the actor standing in fake rain. What I liked the most was Pedigree's commitment to helping shelter dogs."

  • "A human and their dog is the most beautiful love story! I loved the connection to the classic love story movie!! I loved the dog and how adorable he was and the line she spoke."

The cause:

  • "How they help dogs in shelters find homes and their dog food is available at shelters too.”

  • "I really like that they are supporting the shelters as all the shelters are full and they're so many sweet dogs that need to be adopted."

  • "I liked that Pedigree is shining a light on adopting a pet from a shelter. I like the cute little dog."

  • "I like that it advocated for dog adoption from shelters instead of breeding."

And in spite of the story and message revolving around adopting dogs from a shelter, Pedigree played enough of a role for people to feel more positively towards the brand as a result.

Pedigree ads brand recall charts
Wrapping up

What a great cause and great storytelling from Pedigree. We look forward to seeing how they move forward with this cause over time to support their brand and dog shelters.

What did you think? Let us know by interacting with our coverage of the ad on LinkedIn.

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