An emotive new PSA from France is designed to remind people not to abandon their pets when they go on vacation. However, charity Fondation 30 Millions d'Amis does this not by showing heart-rending pictures of abandoned pets, but with a different strategy: tugging at your heartstrings with the story of a girl and her golden retriever.
The ad, created by Altmann + Pacreau, shows the relationship between the girl and her dog starting in her childhood -- it's her loyal friend as a child, looks out for her protectively a teenager and even has pride of place in her wedding photos. When the girl grows up and has her own children, they play with him too and she goes running with the dog beside her buggy. Until one day -- inevitably -- he slows down. You can guess the rest, and we challenge you not to be blubbing by the end of the spot, which is sensitively directed by Xavier Giannoli.
The storyline reminds us somewhat of Purina's recent U.S. tearjerker about a girl and her horse but the strategy here is somewhat different: the final message is that "when a dog abandons its master, it's not to go on holiday."
The spot will run on TV in a one minute version, and in the two minute version seen here on social media. It aims to raise donations for the charity, whose shelters help when 100,000 pets in France are found abandoned every year during the summer vacation period.