Purina is launching Find Your Old Friend, a website where it aims to reconnect horse owners and the animals from their past, with an emotive online film about a girl growing up with her Clydesdale.
"April & Dixie," created by the Martin Agency, shows the girl's relationship with her horse from babyhood to adulthood. April grows up an only child on an idyllic-looking farm, loyally carrying a bucket of carrots to "Dixie" every day and spending hours in the field with her horse, even as a teenager. However, inevitably she grows up, meets a man and eventually moves away, leaving Dixie alone in her field seemingly ignored by the rest of the family, her metal bucket pathetically lying crushed by the roadside. Eventually, though, there's a happy ending as the two are reunited.
It's a right old tearjerker, with the expressively wide-eyed horse tugging at the heartstrings; as countless Budweiser ads have shown, Clydesdales are a winner when it comes to advertising. Terry Rayment of Eskimo is the director pressing your emotional buttons.
The Find Your Old Friend service will be promoted via Purina's social channels and regional Facebook ads; the brand hopes to bring horses and their previous owners back together to tell true stories of their reunions.