Evolution of Dog Advertising Through The Decades

Evolution of Dog Advertising Through The Decades

Let’s face it. Dogs make practically anything better, no matter the situation. This must be why they’re so widely used in art, photography, home decor, and even advertising.

You must have seen this brilliantly popular Super Bowl commercial from Budweiser, which uses an adorable puppy to tug at your heart strings.

But doggy talent definitely isn’t a new trend! Pups have starred in ads since the beginning of advertising, it seems. Kodak sure knew how to utilize our four-legged best friends back in the 1950s.

But before dogs were used to advertise random things like beer and photography, they starred in their own commercials and print ads for dog food and pet products. Duh, right?

Friskies puppy food in the 1960s used a momma and her newborn pups to show off their product. We’d definitely consider this piece vintage.

This 1970s ad for Gravy Train dog food doesn’t use any, ahem, real dogs… but it certainly takes us back to a different time.

Fast forward to today and companies have been using some new and unique techniques in their dog-centric commercials. Take this one by Nestlé Purina, for example. Apparently this spot used a high-pitched sound that only dogs could hear to attract their attention. Now they just need to get dogs the ability to make their own purchasing decisions based off of TV commercials!

Purina isn’t the first company to target actual pups with marketing, funnily enough. If we head on over the pond, we can take a look at how Wagg Foods used dog-food-scented ads on sidewalks to attract dogs (and their humans) passing by.


Shortly thereafter, GranataPet created a Foursquare compatible billboard in Germany that allowed people to check in to receive some dog food for their pup to snack on. Nothing not to love about free food, am I right?

Commercials aside, dogs have starred throughout the years in many print and digital advertisements. From fruit to beer to even railroad tickets, companies knew that people’s love for dogs would ultimately get them to take a peek at their ads.

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Dog food companies’ print ads have changed quite a lot through the years as well. Recognize this brand?


Take a look at what their print ads looked like back in the day:


And this one:


used to look like this:


Nowadays, it’s not a surprise to see man’s best friend starring in advertisements for anything and everything. Even car makers are casting four-legged models for their marketing purposes these days.


Whether the brand or product has anything to do with dogs or not, you can surely find a fluffy, loving, and happy face somewhere as you’re browsing the internet, shopping online, driving down the freeway, or just flipping through channels after a long hard day at work.

Featured image via Ask Bob Rankin

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