Best of 2021: Petco pushes its health and wellness transformation in first work from Droga5

Humorous spots directed by Harold Eintstein see people play the roles of animals

Published On
Mar 29, 2021

Editor's Pick

Through New Year's, we will be counting down our picks for 2021's 30 best ads and creative marketing ideas.

At No. 16: Petco's comedic ads imagine pets as people as it shifts to a "health and wellness" proposition.

In a new spot from Petco, a group of affluent snobs enjoy cocktails in a "Downton Abbey"-like setting. “Did you know that Petco is now a health and wellness company?” an older man asks, before a woman snootily chides him, “I believe you’re the only one who doesn’t know that, Avery.” Others at the party discuss Petco’s grooming, vets and food delivery services. The scene shifts and the people are revealed to be pets—a group of dogs and cats that bear an uncanny resembles to the humans they replaced. “It’s what we’d want if we were pets,” reads text that appears on the screen.

See the full list of 2021's Best Ads.

The 45-second commercial, the anthem video in Petco’s first campaign from Droga5 since naming the Accenture Interactive-owned shop its creative agency late last year, illustrates the retailer’s new brand direction. Last October, the San Diego-based company announced it was rebranding itself as a “Petco, The Health + Wellness Co." and discontinuing harmful products such as shock collars. The move was the final step in a series of changes dating back to early 2019, when Petco pledged to eliminate artificial ingredients from its pet food. In January, the company went public.

“We are a health and wellness company that talks about whole health and 360 degree care,” says Tariq Hassan, chief marketing officer. “It extends beyond the aisle and merchandise into support and knowledge,” he adds, noting Petco’s Health and Wellness Council of veterinarians and nutritionists.

The new campaign is a big push for the 56-year old chain, which is using increased consumer demand for pet adoptions during the pandemic to boost brand awareness. Petco will have a “significant media presence,” Hassan says, that will run for 35 weeks beginning March 29. The work includes nearly a dozen spots directed by Harold Einstein via Dummy, including smaller cuts with products from vendor partners. Petco is also creating Spanish language spots as well for the Hispanic market, a first for the company. Marketing will air on traditional and nonlinear TV, as well as on social channels. 

“We talk about humanization but it’s really about an increase in proximity—bringing those pets closer into the family, taking care of them the way we take care of the others in our family,” says Hassan. “That phrase ‘It’s what we’d want if we were pets,’ yes, we’re using it for the campaign, but it’s also how parents feel about their pets.”

Like many retailers, Petco has benefited from the rise in consumer adoption of online shopping. For its most recent quarter, digital sales grew over 90%. Revenue in 2020 grew 11% to $4.9 billion, including a 16% rise to $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter.

The chain is hoping that its focus on health and wellness will give it enough of an edge to continue such momentum. Petco recently added a monthly subscription offering for grooming and vet services, and has made upgrades on its app to communicate with pet owners in new ways.

“The elements we’re  bringing into the experience we create for parents are truly about the care, not just acquisition,” Hassan says.


Mar 29, 2021
Client :
Agency :
Co-Chief Creative Officer :
Tim Gordon
Co-Chief Creative Officer :
Felix Richter
Executive Creative Director :
Scott Bell
Creative Director :
George McQueen
Creative Director :
Tom McQueen
Associate Creative Director :
Bernardo Gonzalez
Sr. Copywriter :
Chase Kimball
Sr. Art Director :
Jesse Brown
Director of Interactive Production :
Tasha Cronin
Group Experience Design Director :
Craig Wong
Executive Design Director :
Rich Greco
Senior Design Content Writer :
Jeremy Zerbe
Designer :
Daniel Seong
Designer :
Adrian Koenigsberg
Executive Producer Film :
Dave Stephenson
Sr. Producer Film :
Volney Guzman
Associate Producer :
Lindsay Squires
Senior Music Supervisor :
Michael Ladman
Business Affairs Director :
Dan Simonetti
Senior Business Affairs Manager :
Ramona Seunath
Business Affairs Manager :
Jeannie Curcio
Producer Print :
Alyssa Dolman
Head of Experience Strategy :
George Bennett
Group Strategy Director :
Sarah Garman
Group Strategy Director :
Tom Haslow
Strategy Director :
Kaveri Gautam
Group Communications Strategy Director :
Justin Schneider
Communications Strategist :
Molly Klein
Data Strategy Director :
Tradd Salvo
Co-Head of Account Management :
Lauren LaValle
Account Director :
Amanda Burnett Bard
Account Supervisor :
Tori Tessalone
Associate Account Manager :
Mallie Feldman
Senior Project Manager :
Simon Jolly
Chief Executive Officer :
Ron Coughlin
Chief Marketing Officer :
Tariq Hassan
Vice President of Marketing :
Katie Nauman
Head of Brand Marketing & Creative :
Olivia Doyne
Director of Marketing :
Alysa Frost
Marketing Manager :
Kelsey Kotzebue
Program Manager :
Lisa Budnik
Director of Marketing Membership Sub-Campaign :
Jillian Ramos
Marketing Manager Vendor Partnerships :
Joela Grenard
Head of Internal Studio :
Bessie Wink
Studio Producer :
Stephanie Wilson
Creative Studio Operations Manager :
Doris Peterson
Production Company :
Director :
Harold Einstein
Executive Producer :
Michael Kanter
Editorial :
Editor :
Dave Anderson
Partner / Executive Producer :
Sila Soyer
Producer :
Ellen Lavery
Post Production :
The Mill
VFX Supervisor :
John Leonti
Executive Producer :
Anastasia Von Rahl
Color Grade :
Colorist :
Tim Masick
Animal Safety :
American Humane Society
Animal Safety Representative :
Aiesha Colvin
Senior Advisor :
Susan H Jackson
Music :
Found Objects Music Production
Track Title :
“Classy Affair"
Executive Creative Director :
Trevor Gureckis
Executive Creative Director :
Jay Wadley
Creative Director :
Ben Marshall
Creative :
Adam Weiss
Executive Producer :
Jennie Armon
Head of Production :
Matt Nelson
Producer :
Katt Matt
Producer :
Nick Chomowicz
Associate Music Producer :
Agatha Lee
Sound :
Heard City
Mixer :
Evan Mangiamele

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