The earnestness of pets truly is a marvel, and here’s a campaign that gets that completely—an animated mini-musical from the agency Little Hands of Stone for pet-sitting brand Rover.
The concept and execution are both flawless with this one. The insight is that owners worry about their pets when they leave them at home with a sitter, making trips more stressful than they should be. So, the idea was to craft a musical love letter, “To My Hooman,” sung by a child, from the point of view of the pets—who tell the humans everything’s OK, as they’re being well taken care of by a Rover sitter.
Here’s the 90-second anthem spot:
There are 10 more videos, mostly :15s along with some :06s.
Giant Ant did the animation, initially coming back to the agency with 20 different looks. LHoS co-founder Matt McCain told Ad Age that one prototype of the hero dog character immediately stood out—and they ended up basing the whole look on him. They nicknamed him Buttdog.
McCain wrote the lyrics. Composer Rob Scherzer, a former co-worker of a strategist on the LHoS team, wrote the music. “He worked on Broadway in his former life and banged that melody out insanely fast,” McCain said.
Scherzer’s 10-year-old son Maxwell, who used to perform in a boys’ choir in Seattle, sang the melodies. They recorded the music at Scherzer’s home—all 11 tracks. “Max was incentivized with extra video game time,” McCain reports.
The details of the animation bring everything full circle, from the elongated drawings of the “hoomans” in many shots (the LHoS team decided people are 80% legs from a dog’s perspective) to the quick shot of the dog with wheels for back legs toward the end. The whole campaign puts a fresh spin on Thoughts of Dog-like innocence, and nicely positions Rover as champion of your pet’s—and your own—peace of mind.
“What we love about working with Rover is that they want nothing more than to move beyond cute pet platitudes to what being a loving pet parent is really like,” McCain said. “It’s sweet, sometimes gross, hilarious, sad, joyous and there’s lots of hair everywhere at all times.”