Any dog owner has a story of about a furry companion ingesting something they shouldn’t — from the gross to the (theoretically) inedible to the downright dangerous, like grapes and chocolate — and the holidays offer plenty of opportunity for our best four-legged friends to get into all of the above.
The good news is that a new social media campaign, Dogs Eat Everything, is here to raise humans’ awareness about these hazards. Created by agency FCB Health NY for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and featuring animation by award-winning Chicago-based studio Calabash (Stubble Trouble), the campaign humorously illustrates the many ways dogs can harm themselves by eating literally almost anything, and encourages people to pet-proof their homes.
“FCB came to us with this great idea and a really funny song, which we all connected with as dog owners ourselves. They had some wonderful characters and gags already sketched out, but also gave us the opportunity to contribute our own dog designs and crazy scenarios,” said Sean Henry, Calabash Executive Producer.
“Of first importance, the agency needed to develop these dogs as characters and expand their use beyond the TV spot and into social, print, mobile, etc. Character design is in Calabash’s DNA, and we welcomed the opportunity to work closely with the creative team to give these characters life and personality that could extend their presence beyond this singular campaign.”
The spot is centered around a country-rock earworm of a jingle with the lyrics: “Dogs eat anything, dogs eat everything, dogs eat crazy things!” A cartoony montage, courtesy of Calabash, shows famished pups eating everything from wedding rings and rotten food to live electrical wires and more potty humor-appropriate items.
Creative Director Wayne Brejcha added, “One guiding light for this was the classic Schoolhouse Rock cartoon series of the 1970s. Like those, Dogs Eat featured a catchy song married to an animation style that’s all about what’s funny and memorable and will be read in very short amounts of time. Whimsical stuff can dispense with more complex elements of cinematic animation like fussy draftsmanship making use of three-point perspective, or the exacting physics of motion. You just don’t need all that to show a lineup of dogs eating things they shouldn’t.”
Check out the campaign and find helpful resources, including lists of harmful “human foods” and canine poisoning symptoms, at dogseateverything.com.
See more work by Calabash at calabashanimation.com.