In this latest spot for Pedigree, created out of BBDO, New York and directed by Park Pictures' Lance Acord, dogs don't just offer companionship. Apparently, they can help cure society's ills.
The (mostly) black and white ad attempts to play on our assumptions about black and white prejudice. A grumpy, older white man -- whose demeanor leads you to believe he may be a closed-minded bigot -- takes his large hound out for a walk in his slightly run-down neighborhood. He runs into a young black man walking a -- suprise! -- pit bull. The two dogs give each other a few sniffs and tension mounts as you expect a blow-up between the owners. The dogs, however, decide they like each other, bringing grins to both men's faces. "Nice meeting you," the older gent says to the younger one, as the new friends shake hands. "Dogs bring out the good in us, Pedigree brings out the good in them," the voiceover announces.
"Dogs know no prejudice," said President, Mars Petcare North America and Global Brand Strategic Lead for Pedigree Larry Allgaier in a statement. "'The Walk' is just one example of the type of good dogs bring to the world every day. The main characters may appear very different, but by the end, they realize their similarities -- and the good in one another -- through their dogs."
It's a sweet spot, but a bit heavy-handed in its attempt to tie dog food and pet owner camaraderie to a heated social issue. It would be nice to see the scenario teased out in a more nuanced way without hinging on such a stark racial divide.