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The animal impact: The brands who use our furry friends and why you should too.

13 September 2021

Anyone who owns a pet knows just how influential they can be on your life. They make you laugh, provide comfort, and quickly become a memorable part of your life. This positive impact on our emotions and mental health is increasingly being recognised by scientists and researchers.

A small MRI brain scan study of 18 women showed that they had similar neural responses in their brain when they viewed both their dog and their child. Several studies of prisoners and mental health patients have also shown that animals can help to promote positive behavior, such as; problem-solving, empathy and responsibility.

Brands have been harnessing the power of animals to influence positive and empathetic behaviour in their advertising and marketing campaigns for many years. Whether it’s expressing their brand personality, making their audience laugh or think differently, animal stars are a great way to promote products or tell a brand story.

This article will show you how the biggest brands have used animals in their marketing and how you can use animal stars to promote your business effectively.


When you think of Andrex, it’s likely that you’ll think of the fluffy puppy on their advert, rather than their super soft product. Since the first little golden Labrador pulled a toilet roll around a house 75 years ago, the puppy has been synonymous with the brand.


As well as being one of the cutest and longest-standing advertising icons, the Labrador puppy increased customer loyalty by making everyone feel at home with the Andrex brand.


Science hasn’t just proved the link between pets and our own health, Vitality did it back in their 2015 TV advertising campaign. By reversing the feelings humans get when nurturing and caring for animals, Vitality gave their brand more personality and created both empathy and comedy in their adverts.


When it comes to expressing your brand personality through animals, O2’s ‘Be More Dog’ campaign is one of the most standout examples. It doesn’t just use the central character, the cat, to create empathy, but to express the values that the brand wants to be known for – taking the initiative, being independent and running free.

By choosing an animal that isn’t associated with their brand, O2 created a campaign that is unexpected, distinctive and full of character.

Lloyds Bank

Before their ‘Forever Forwards’ campaign, it’s likely that you didn’t look at Lloyds Bank’s logo that closely. By bringing the animal in their logo to life, Lloyds Bank’s campaign reinvigorated their brand and modernised their personality and values.

The beautiful movement of the black horse across the UK countryside also showed how the brand is future-facing, progressive and thoroughly British.


Although rumours say that it was completely accidental, the Old English Sheepdog is now an icon of the Dulux brand. Adorable and eye-catching, people have been feeling ‘more at home with Dulux’ and the Dulux dog, since 1961. Well-tempered and friendly-looking, this Sheepdog breed is a great symbol of British pride and quality.

How to find the right animal star for your brand

If you’re thinking of using an animal star to promote your brand, then you might be wondering what type of animal would be best to choose. Answering the questions below can help you to narrow it down:

• Do you have an animal that’s already associated with your brand? If so, you might want to bring your mascot to life through an animal star. If you don’t have a ‘brand animal’ then think about the values or personality you want your marketing campaign to express. Do you want to be cute and fluffy or unusual and obscure?

• How do you want your audience to feel when they see your campaign? Deciding whether you want your audience to laugh, cry or think differently will help you to choose an appropriate animal star.

• Do you want to reinforce an existing brand personality or do something surprising, unexpected or different? Choosing the right animal star can strengthen your existing brand values or break away from them completely. So it’s important that you make a conscious decision when it comes to the direction of your campaign.

• Are you promoting specific products or your brand? Will your campaign be mainly photography or video? Different animal stars have different skillsets so it’s important to match these up closely with your campaign’s specific requirements.

By answering all of these questions, you can start to narrow down the type of animal you want to use in your campaign and how you can use them most effectively to engage with your audience.

Alternatively, if you’re not sure what animal stars are available, get in touch with our expert agent by calling 020 8161 6556 or, email us at info@urbanpawsireland.com and we can find well-trained, good-looking animals to meet your brand and campaign needs.

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