Holy Cow, Adman!

What is it about the humble cow that advertisers like so much?

A herd of recent ads–including Fallon McElligott’s new Miller Lite spots for the Texas market–and dozens of clients have their fortunes linked, for better or worse, to our bovine friends.

Gateway 2000, for instance, recently painted ads for its computer services on live cows in a field near its Petaluma, Calif., base.

Apparently, the cow’s appeal is international: In a current spot for Heinz Ketchup (shown here) by Leo Burnett in Bogota, Colombia, the sight of a bottle of ketchup has a cow fleeing in horror. ‘Eighty-five percent of the world’s cows are eaten with Heinz Ketchup’ is the tagline.

Some braver bovines appear in an outdoor ad for Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, in which cows scrawl: ‘Eat Mor Chickin’ on a billboard.

John Mead, chief creative officer at McCann-Erickson, Troy, Mich., (the agency which featured cows in a recent spot for the Buick Century,) believes consumers relate to cows more than, say, alligators or giraffes. ‘Have you ever driven down a road and watched a cow’s head turn? They all turn and look at you. It could make you a little paranoid,’ he said.

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