Andrex’s cute-as-a-button Labrador puppy, which has been at the forefront of their advertising campaign since 1972, has been abandoned in favour of a computer generated alternative.
In a 40 seconds long commercial which aired for the first time Wednesday night the best kept secret for several months at advertising firm JWT, the brains behind the original campaign, was unveiled.
As if this wasn’t enough for fans of the pup to stomach, he was joined by a brace of friends – a Dalmation and a British Bulldog – in his new virtual puppy world. They were shown eating, playing and sleeping together as a voiceover pointed out that “the little things” in life make all the difference.
Labradors are close to the nation’s heart – as well as making great family dogs, they are one of the most common working animals and are often seeing doing their duty as guide dogs.
Kimberly Clark, the multinational corporation behind Andrex, defended the decision to give the hapless pup the bum’s rush and defended accusations that the measure was to cut costs in the £15 million ad campaign.
Marketing director Jon White told The Daily Telegraph that, although the puppy had a massive following, the digital makeover was a part of “refreshing” the brand. Computer graphics artists had slaved away for six months to create the animation, and had spent hours studying the movements and mannerisms of real Labrador pups.
Mr White commented:
“Brands have to refresh themselves in order to stay relevant to today’s consumers and this is exactly what we’re doing. We are refreshing, not reinventing. The Puppy is still at the centre of our communications.”
Of course, you know what perfectly reflects the mannerisms and movements of real Labrador puppies? Real Labrador puppies. It’s this insistence on reinventing the wheel and drowning everything in CGI that resulted in George Lucas receiving such a lambasting after the Ja-Ja Binks debacle in Star Wars… now Andrex has done it too.
What do you think of replacing a real puppy with a computer generated one? Watch the advert here and let us know.
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