Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has unveiled its latest work for the Royal
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in a 60-second, emotive
cinema commercial imploring people not to give pets as Christmas
The ad could prove to be the agency’s swan-song for the charity because
the account is currently under review. The RSPCA announced the review in
September (Campaign, 8 September), and will make a decision later this
week. Five agencies are pitching, including Abbott Mead.
The film, which will run until Christmas in Odeon cinemas, features two
trusting puppies’ last journey, as a man takes them to a canal, puts
them in a sack and throws them in. The endline reads: ‘Don’t give pets
as presents this Christmas.’
The commercial is done through the eyes of one of the dogs, although
this does not become apparent to the viewer until the end of the film.
As the ad opens on a deserted street at dawn, a low-level camera moves
towards a canal with a man running alongside it. It then becomes evident
that he is taking the dog for a walk.
A voiceover excitedly relates the experience with phrases such as: ‘We
are going swimming, my brother and I. We are going swimming with our
best friend.’ The viewer then realises that what they can hear are the
After a while, the puppy discovers that all is not well and the film
takes a sinister twist. The camera shows one puppy being put in a sack
and another sack being placed over the camera. Ropes are then tied
around the sacks.
The commercial was created by the veterans of the RSPCA campaign, the
art director, Paul Brazier, and the copywriter, Peter Souter. Their
previous, award-winning work on the account includes press executions
featuring lines such as: ‘This whippet is a victim of the recession. It
used to be a labrador.’ The film was directed by Anthony Easton of Stark