It’s a mutt strut with adorable dogs on a catwalk—er, a puppy fashion show!
Last Thursday, Jockey and The Dodo partnered to host a furry, feel-good event called Adopt the Runway to unveil a new Jockey collection while also getting dogs in need adopted. The publisher, part of Group Nine Media, and the brand sent two dozen human and four-legged creatures down a runway near a bustling business district in Los Angeles.
The people wore Jockey apparel, the pups were in their birthday suits, with a few bandanas and bow ties as accessories.
The stunt, livestreamed on Facebook, marks the latest collaboration with Zach Skow, Jockey’s new brand ambassador. Skow, who founded Marley’s Mutts rescue organization, is a recovering addict who revealed that his dogs were key to his path to sobriety in his first ad for Jockey this summer. The spot is part of the ongoing #ShowEm campaign that celebrates everyday heroes. (Full tagline: “Show ‘em what’s underneath, show ‘em your Jockey”).
The fashion show aimed to find homes for the canine supermodels and launch a limited edition Jockey X Marley’s Mutts collection, with 20 percent of proceeds going to the nonprofit that has extended its animal rescue efforts to working with autistic children, veterans and inmates. Its rehabilitation and retraining has saved the lives of more than 5,000 dogs from high-kill shelters.
Group Nine’s in-house creative division, The Brandshop, previously worked with Jockey and floated the idea of a style-centric live event with The Dodo and Skow.
The mission-driven Dodo, which counts about 50 million followers, often spotlights animals in dire straights, which dovetails perfectly with Skow and his rescue group, Johnson said. (There were mostly special needs dogs in the fashion show, including amputees and abuse survivors who got over their stage fright long enough to give kisses to those in the crowd).
“Advertisers in general are seeing the power of human interest and inspirational stories,” said Yosef Johnson, svp, head of The Brandshop. “We’re noticing that non-endemic brands, outside of brands like pet food, want to work with The Dodo because it’s a time when positivity and happiness and uplifting stories are really appreciated in the world.”
The event gave The Brandshop a chance to delve further into experiential marketing, which will be “one of our key pillars going forward,” according to Johnson, whose division also works with Group Nine’s NowThis, Seeker and Thrillist.
In addition to its livestream and custom Snapchat filter, video and images from the Jockey-sponsored runway show will be distributed on Facebook, Instagram, other social platforms and Jockey’s site.
The Dodo, with its constant overload of cute critter videos and heart-tugging tales like, “Cat is so gentle with his squirrel brother,” and “Pitbull rescued from dogfighting slowly turns into the happiest pup,” has memorably collaborated with a number of brands including Samsung for commercial campaigns.