Singing Animals in Advertising: A Round Up

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Animals are good for selling lots of stuff -- the fact that there is an entire ad festival and awards show devoted to commercials that feature our furrier friends is proof enough.

But while anthropomorphizing the wild kingdom has always been good for a few viral clicks and some Internet buzz (see: YouTube cat videos), we've noticed there's been an upward trend in commercials that star animals that can sing. Even Volkswagen, the company that pulled off one of last year's most popular commercials, "The Force," chose to explore this universe with its Super Bowl XLVI teaser ad.

Which, we believe, opens up the perfect opportunity to round up some of the best spots featuring animals that can carry a tune--some of which, we dare say, ranks among the best work. Ever.

Lambs Singing, It's a Holiday Miracle
Brooks Brothers tapped sweet, scarved lambs for its holiday commercial late last year. Created out of production company Moxie Pictures, adorable little lambs sang "Jingle Bells" while sporting the brand's trademark preppy clothing. Live lambs were used with 3D overlay.

A Yodeling Cat
What's the opposite of a few sweet lambs raising their voices high? A freakish, yodeling cat, which marked Walmart's holiday effort, out of The Martin Agency. A CGI mouth moved to--again, "Jingle Bells"--in what might have been the most disturbing animal-helmed spot of the year.

And Back to Dogs
What is it about the holidays that brings out caroling animals? Pedigree celebrated the holiday season with dogs barking out--yet again, "Jingle Bells,"which of course went viral, out of TBWA Denmark.

An Animated Turn
Singing animals are happy animals, and FedEx showed off its sustainability initiatives and how they kept a forest happy and healthy in a spot out of BBDO New York in early December. The animals were animated, but that didn't make them any less cute.

Never Mind the Gecko
Geico, which obviously has an animal lover on its marketing team, eschewed the gecko and Maxwell the Pig in favor of a dog and a cockatoo singing A-Ha. Their owner had trained them so she could save money by not downloading music. Of course, 15 minutes can save her 15% off her insurance, so there's no need to go this far.

What If It Were You Up On This Wall?
Fish have feelings too. Kudos to McDonald's for leaving the more popular pets behind. In this 2009 Filet-O-Fish spot, a wall-mounted fish gets a little bit mad after seeing what a man is eating for lunch. "If it were you in that sandwich you wouldn't be singing at all!". Yes, this one still counts even though, for all intents and purposes, the singing animal is dead.

Singing For Their Supper
Why should the BBC be exempt? In this 2008 PSA, snakes, deer and even larvae break out in song, each equipped with a computer generated pair of red lips. The spot asked viewers to "Do One Thing" that Christmas -- directing them to the BBC's five-year online campaign for nature conservation. .

Forget the Radio
In 2007, Jeep gave a squirrel, a wolf and a couple of birds the chance to belt out Andy Kim's "Rock Me Gently." The spot, out of production company MJZ, showed a man driving along in his nice car, as forest animals jumped inside to provide a soundtrack.

A Questionable Trade
TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York used an annoying operatic bunny to comic effect in this 2006 Tom Kuntz-directed spot, in which the owner of said rabbit trades it in for a pack of Skittles. Little known tidbit: bun-bun's tune was performed by the spot's group creative director/writer, Ian Reichenthal, now ECD at Wieden + Kennedy, New York.

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