Odd Friends of Animals PSA Casts Danny Trejo as Dog

By Erik Oster 

Atlanta agency breensmith launched a 90-second PSA for Friends of Animals, entitled “Ruff Life,” which features actor Danny Trejo playing a dog.

After being caught in a local park (by a dog catcher portrayed by Jaleel White), Trejo is brought to the pound, where he explains the dogs run in packs. “You’ve got the Canine Crips, we’ve got the Bloodhound Bloods, we’ve got Los Perros, the Greyhoud Disciples and we’ve got the Bulldog Nation. You want to survive in here, you’ve got to make good with them,” he says from inside his cage. The actor, who of course starred in BBDO New York’s Super Bowl spot for Snickers, is joined by Victoria’s Secret model Cynthia Kirchner, who plays a cat prostitute. (Yes, you read that correctly.) “Ruff Life” stems from a similarly provocative OOH campaign which also featured a cat prostitute, in addition to dogs as homeless people. The approach is certainly attention-grabbing but will it rally viewers to Friends of Animals cause or is it too off-putting?

“We know it’s a balancing act,” breensmith creative director Chris Breen told Adweek. “Hopefully people understand the intent and at the very least it makes them think of the issue in a new light. At the end of the day, it’s a topic that kind of gets glanced over. We wanted to give Friends of Animals a platform to break the ice and wake people up to the seriousness of the issue without preaching or putting them to sleep. OK. That was the worst pun ever.”