This One's Going to the Dogs--the Cute Dogs

Advertiser: Petco

Agency: Phelps Group, Santa Monica

Challenge: Give pet owners a reason to choose Petco, the second-largest pet supply chain, over competing stores.

The Ads: Two TV spots running on national cable and local broadcast stations describe Petco as the place where pets choose to go. In a spot introducing a Petco discount card, a dog admits only dogs and cats with a Petco card to a nightclub for pets. The second ad, showing dogs, cats, birds and fish working out in a health club, promotes special deals on pet food. "We've got the nutrition," the narrator says as a bulldog catches sight of a gorgeous poodle. "The rest is up to you." Both spots end with the slogan, "Petco, where the pets go."

Comment: The pets in these spots strike adorable poses, sure to charm pet lovers. But the doggy bouncer, in turning away a dog without the Petco card, might give viewers used to club stores the impression the card is needed to shop at Petco. (It isn't.) And in the ad promoting pet food deals, the visuals are largely devoted to exercise. $$

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