With their fluffiness, big trusting eyes and adorable attempts to learn how to operate their oversized paws, kittens and puppies are the essence of the word squee. But take that fluffy kitty or puppy and multiply it by six. Now, you need to provide a load of living creatures with veterinary care, food and water, love and attention, space—and let's not even talk about the number of litter boxes or walks in the park necessary to corral the byproducts of six adorable poop machines. The solution, for many, is a pit stop at the local overcrowded animal shelter—or worse, alongside a highway.
Most people do spay or neuter their pets. Utah-based Best Friends Animal Society says more than 80 percent of pet owners jump on the snipping bandwagon. But Best Friends says there's still a lot of confusion about when animals should be sterilized (at 4 months old). So, with the help of TM Advertising and MRM in Salt Lake City, it launched the Fix at Four  campaign. The creative features furry friends as they face the daunting task of parenting much too soon. The campaign, created with a bare-bones budget, spans video, TV spots, online ads, merch, posters and screensavers, all housed within a website centerpiece that utilizes a cutting-edge continuous scrolling navigation technology called Parallax.
"Given the fact there was very little money involved, there was a tremendous number of resources and offices and production companies, artists, illustrators, editors, musicians and artists helping with this," says Bill Oakley, TM's chief creative officer. "We told them we had very little money; it was pretty remarkable how many people said yes. Lots of expensive talent gave up their time and effort for these."
Among the stars of the PSAs are Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet, Oscar-winning actress Linda Hunt and musician Paula Cole. The spots are lighthearted—not a single crying puppy behind jail bars to be seen. For example, one of the "Fix at Four" PSAs uses a plot twist to make it appear as if a harried father is trying to keep a bunch of horny local boys from impregnating his young daughter.
"We purposely made them lighter," Oakley said. "When I see those Sarah McLachlan commercials, I turn them off. I can't even watch them."