New Work for Hill's is A Love Story You Have to See

November 30, 2020

If our social feeds are any indication, it seems like everyone in America has welcomed a new furry friend during the pandemic. 

Shelters, animal rescues, breeders, pet stores — all reported more demand in 2020. And whether it’s training, negotiating or just plain love and affection, it’s easy to find yourself rewarding a good boy with one-too-many treats. But owners might think again before sharing their Thanksgiving table scraps.

The sad reality with pet ownership is that 55-60% of pets end up overweight, with most pet owners unaware of the dangers this can bring. Hill’s Pet Nutrition is hoping to educate pet owners, new and old, on the dangers of pet obesity in their latest campaign, Feed the Love. 

Instead of relying on shame-based messaging or fear tactics, the campaign leverages the highest-order emotion: love. Two short films each tell a tale of love and loss by showing how our emotional relationships can create the problem of pet obesity and also, ultimately, provide the best way to solve it—simply by changing what goes into their bowl.

The Poochini spot launched its :30 cut during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Broadcast on NBC. Moto’s spot will be airing early in 2021 during the Grammys (01/31). 

Hill’s wanted to highlight how emotions play a key role in how we interact with pets, affecting everything we do for dogs and cats, including how we feed them. And as a huge segment of our national population is largely isolated and currently staying at home, the day-to-day connection we have with pets resonates now more than ever. The long-term goal is to help make pet health a top priority as owners navigate the twists and turns of 2020 and beyond.

“Consumer research suggests that up to 90% of pet parents don’t realize that weight could be a problem for their pet. That’s a huge opportunity to raise awareness about an issue we can help solve with nutrition” said David Scharf, VP, global marketing & innovation, Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

Red Fuse teamed up with Bipolar Studio, with the spot directed by Colin Levy. Bipolar Studio worked from a blank slate to design, concept and bring to life the beautiful pieces. The team was made up of some of the top talent with previous lead/executive roles at DreamWorks and Disney including Colin who has been known for his animation work at Pixar and has been adapting his sci-fi short film Skywatch into an original TV series for NBC’s Peacock.

“From the beginning, we knew that we wanted to create a campaign based on love,” said Fred Saldanha, global chief creative officer for Colgate-Palmolive at VMLY&R. “The biggest surprise was seeing the 3D characters come to life and really touch our hearts. But the most important thing is that we ended up tackling a tough topic in a way that people relate to.”

Red Fuse Communications, the cross-agency WPP team servicing the Colgate-Palmolive business globally and a part of VMLY&R, created the spot. 

Read more about the work on Adweek or Campaign.