The U.S. may be embroiled in one of the—if not the—most miserably vitriolic presidential battles in its history. But Pedigree wants to remind Americans that we can all agree on one thing. Golden retrievers are pretty great.
The fluffy, affable, goofy standard-bearer of the dog world stars in a new three-minute ad from BBDO New York. In it, a woman dressed in a Hillary Clinton campaign T-shirt shows up at a Donald Trump rally, and then vice versa. Both times, she's toting a pooch she claims she found wandering nearby, using it to make friends of should-be enemies while she pretends to search for its owner.
Eventually, a second actor shows up to claim the labrador. But in the meantime, the leading mole manages to actually make civil small talk with other human beings, even as they begin to take note of their apparent differences.
Pedigree's point, naturally, is that Democrats and Republicans have more in common than they think. At least, so long as the topic at hand is trivial, or obvious, and defined in the simplest terms—like "people" or "kids" or "dogs" (because you'd look like a real asshole if you said on camera that you hated any of those things, and at a certain point, vanity will always win).
It's hard not to wonder, from a more cynical perspective, if the young white woman leading the charming blonde pup might have been received less warmly at the Trump rallies if she were, say, a young black man instead. (To be fair, it's not only people of color who have been met with violence at the Republican nominee's events stretching back to October 2015—in at least one incident, a black Trump supporter has punched a white protester.)
Then again, golden retrievers are also so relentlessly desperate for love that it's not much of an experiment. The dog's insistence on being pet constantly would distract all but the most hard-hearted of sociopaths from their mission to rage.
And while Canada may wish to boost America's spirit in other ways, and Activision is encouraging citizens to flee to outer space, it's safe to say large swaths of the country might at this point welcome a happy-go-lucky dog as it president, if for no other reason than it's not either of the current leading candidates.
Spot: "Vote for Good"
Agency: BBDO New York
Chief Creative Officer BBDO Worldwide – David Lubars
Chief Creative Officer BBDO New York – Greg Hahn
Head of Production – Dave Rolfe
Executive Creative Directors – Greg Ketchum, Tom Godici
Creative Directors – Banks Noel, Greg Gerstner
Executive Producer – Regina Iannuzzi
Senior Account Director – Sally Nathans
Account Director – Elizabeth Kelberg
Group Planning Director – Annemarie Norris
Planning Director – Emily Rydin
Senior Communications Planner – Sean Stogner
Production Coordinator – Corie Rosenblatt
Head of Music – Rani Vaz
Production CO – BBDO Studios
Director: Win Bates – Crane
EP of Crane – Constantine Bjerke
Audio – Sound Lounge – Glen Landrum
Editorial / Finishing – The Beauty Shop- editor Adam Leibowitz and Lindsey Nadolski & CO3