Alpo Gets to the Meat of the Problem

NEW YORK Is your dog a Fifi or a Fido? Fallon’s first work for Alpo takes puppy love back to basics with an online and outdoor campaign that implores owners: “Quick, Get that dog some Alpo.”

The work pokes fun at pampered pooches and cheekily pushes dog owners to give canines back their dignity. Ads show people going to ridiculous lengths to treat their canine pals like people, such as dressing them in designer outfits and shelling out for yoga treatments and doggie spas.

“Dogs haven’t changed, but people have overcomplicated” dogs’ lives, said Kara Peterson, group account director at the Minneapolis agency, which won the Nestle business last month and recently picked up additional new-product chores from the client’s beverage division. “Our mission is to give dogs their dogness back. It’s time to let dogs be dogs again.”

Billboards feature the “Quick, get that dog some Alpo” line alongside images of pups in not-so-dignified situations. In one ad, a cat slaps a pooch around (shown above); in another, a bulldog wears a frilly skirt; a third shows a collie with cucumber slices on its eyes soaking in a bubble bath, scented candles lit nearby.

Posters designed to resemble missing pets flyers scream, “Lost!” and explain ways in which the dogs have ‘lost’ themselves. One reads: “The dog formerly known as ‘Spike’ last seen wearing a sequined collar and an expensive doggie outfit.”

All ads feature the tagline, “Real dogs eat meat,” and lead consumers to, where owners can give their pets “The Fifi Test” and view a film in which an Alpo team “rescues” overly-pampered canines.

Five-second pre-roll ads are also running on

“Everybody is guilty of putting human personality on dogs,” added Dean Hanson, art director at Fallon. “It seemed like a natural to take this very solid substantial dog food and say it’s time to wake up and get back to fundamentals.”

Nestle spent less than $1 million advertising the brand last year, according to Nielsen-Monitor Plus.