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CANINE INTUITION

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How would you describe your family dog? Words like trustworthy, dedi cated and reliable may come to mind.

That's just the sort of association driving the creative in The ARK Family of Mutual Funds' current outdoor campaign from Marriner Marketing Communications in Columbia, Md.

One billboard features a photo of a golden retriever, mouth open, head cocked to one side. "Ark. Ark," reads what is meant to be the dog's speech. The copy running alongside the pooch: "Your money needs a best friend, too."

"The deeper thinking is that it's about relationships," said Tighe Merkert, shop president. "As people need relationships, so does your money."

A second billboard shows a Border collie with a stick in its mouth. The copy: "Teach your money new tricks."

"[The dogs] add more of a human element to it, an emotional element, as well as creating a personality for the brand," Merkert said.

The work will appear through the end of the year on highways on Maryland's Eastern Shore and in Baltimore, as well as in York, Pa., and Harrisburg, Pa.