With civil war looming in 1861, Abraham Lincoln urged the deeply polarized nation to remain united. “We are not enemies, but friends. … The mystical chords of memory will swell when touched again … by the better angels of our nature. “
Rob Schwartz, a seasoned advertising man and political citizen, feels the same way, but instead of angels, he puts his money on dogs. While this troubled campaign season lasts through November 3, Schwartz suggests that “spawning our dog instincts” is the way to go. No wonder, when you consider that the words “be more human (and in case of doubt, be more of a dog)” are emblazoned in solid, sans serif letters on the walls of his company.
Schwartz, CEO of TBWA Chiat Day New York, an A-list agency, surfed the web and showed off wonderful photos of Joe Biden and dogs that led him to dive deeper and look for connections between dogs and leadership. As he said in a recent piece in sayingNot only did he find articles supporting the idea that dogs get the best out of people, but he also discovered that they were some sort of unitary factor across party lines, with dog ownership high in both the red and swing states was. In these controversial times, there aren’t many things Americans of all political beliefs can come together on, but their love for dogs is certainly one of them.
Schwartz thought about the tradition of dogs in the White House and saw a subject he ran with. He came up with the idea with some of his creative friends – including editor / director Dan Bootzin, who edited Apple’s iconic “Think Different” ad – and they developed a political spot and website to endorse it: DogLoversforJoe.com.
As you can tell by the name and political advertisement they have created, they are clearly Biden followers. The upbeat 30-second commercial, which reflects both their politics and their advertising craft, features a number of modern presidents with their beloved dogs – Ronald Reagan with Lucky, a Bouvier des Flandres; George H.W. Bush and Millie, an English springer spaniel; Bill Clinton with his Chocolate Lab Buddy; George W. Bush and his Scottish Terrier, Barney; and Barack Obama with the Portuguese water dog Bo.
Then we come to the current White House resident, whose aversion to pets, especially dogs, has a good comic book effect. We see President Trump speak in front of a crowd and make fun of the idea of living with a dog. “What would I look like if I walked the White House lawn with a dog?” he asks his followers with a faux incredulous expression on his face.
The ad says: “Trump is the first President without a dog in the White House in over a century.” Cut to a photo of his rival Joe Biden, who is cuddling Champ, one of his German Shepherds. Along with the Biden Harris logo, the ad ends with the following advice: “Choose your people wisely.”
The following statement appears prominently on the DogLoversforJoe website:
“Right now, it’s the first time in over 100 years that there’s no dog in the White House, and it shows it. Science shows that dogs make us more compassionate, kinder, healthier and happier. Indeed, according to one recently published study in The guard“Animal therapy helps develop problem-solving skills, empathy, attentiveness to the needs of others, a sense of responsibility, and a way to channel aggressive thoughts into those who have proven difficult to reach with traditional psychiatric drugs and conversational therapy.” In other words, vote for Joe – he’s a dog guy. ”
The commercial and website, as well as a popular Instagram account showing photos of Biden with dogs from supporters, are in the tradition of intelligent advertising on Madison Avenue. Like the classic Volkswagen ads, they use humor to tackle a serious problem.
But don’t let the cute dogs distract you. The news is absolutely serious: vote for Joe Biden.