The Pedigree Child Replacement Programme connects adoption dogs with parents who find themselves alone (and perhaps experiencing grief or loneliness) after their kids move out.
At first you think, “What a heartwarming idea, Colenso.” After all, the programme gives parents the chance to bring the companionship, admiration, and unconditional love back into their lives by adopting a dog.
Then something in your back brain triggers the beginning of a smile. Behind an earnest undertaking is something else. Maybe you remember how quickly your bedroom was turned into a media room when you left home? You see the humour.
Colenso BBDO has turned those seeds of humour into a collection of hilariously blunt videos. The beginning of each video makes you look to moments in which the child version of “you” received – or tried to receive – attention from a parent. Abruptly, you’re then reminded that a dog has taken over part in your parent’s heart where you wanted to be.
The videos drive parents to the website, Replace Them, where they can find the perfect doggy substitute for their child, cheekily suggesting, “When your kids move out, move on.”
Parents who adopt can even send in their child’s old possessions and Pedigree will turn them into new possessions for their dog.
Cormac van den Hoofdakker, marketing manager of Pedigree, commented, “A dog can bring so much love, laughter and affection into a house. They bring out the best in you and fill your life with joy, just like kids do, only unlike kids they won’t grow up and move to London for work. We really hope we can get more dogs out of shelters and into homes that need them.
Animal shelters around the country are full of dogs needing a home. At the same time, thanks to the country’s ageing population, more than half of all New Zealanders are living in a household of two or less.”
Ahmad Salim, business director at Colenso BBDO, commented, “All over the country there are parents sitting in quiet houses lamenting how quickly their kids grew up. At the same time there are dogs sitting in shelters longing for homes. We’re excited to connect the two.”
The Pedigree Child Replacement Programme campaign will target empty nesters through TV, digital, radio, press, as well as having a presence at the departure terminal of Auckland’s International Airport.
Agency: Colenso BBDO
Production company: Exit Films
Director: Adam Gunser
Sound design: Franklin Road
Media Agency: Starcom NZ
Client: Mars NZ
Marketing director: Oliver Downs
Marketing manager, pet: Cormac van den Hoofdakker
Brand manager, dog & specialty: Maria Granados