Animal Planet's mantra heading into the Puppy Bowl—its annual telecast featuring puppies playing football, held a few hours before the Super Bowl—is always, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
What's just as important to advertisers as the Super Bowl? The Puppy Bowl, of course. The Animal Planet event has now run for 11 "seasons," and this year's sponsors include Bissell, Geico, Dairy Queen, Disney's Zootopia, Hershey, Pedigree, Sheba, Subaru and The Secret Life of Pets. All of these brands want to make the most of their furry opportunity, and Bissell tapped Olson in Minneapolis (the same agency behind the recent Marhsawn Lynch Skittles home shopping stunt) to make canine magic happen.
Dairy Queen's first 60-second commercial, a parody of Jared The Galleria of Jewelry's syrupy, romantic ads, will break this Sunday during the Puppy Bowl. The spot is part of a new yearround advertising push from the Berkshire Hathaway-owned chain, which turns 75 this year and usually reserves its ads for the summer.
It's the eternal Super Bowl conundrum: Make a funny ad with people, or make a funny ad with puppies? If you're CarMax, you do both.