Release the Hounds

BY Adam Notzl-Keyser

Everyone benefits when we’re free to play with “Dog Walker Ads”

It may be kinda trite, but I’d suggest that the value of dog walker ads for creatives is the same as a walk for a dog – it gives us a chance to be unleashed, get some exercise and be a little crazy. (Not sure I like that comparison, but hey, it IS accurate…) For those unfamiliar with the term, “dog walker ads” are those done for small, often independent businesses, usually approached by the advertising agency and done for free or a small fee. The fact is, while dog walker ads are good for creatives and the company being advertised, they also represent great opportunities for agencies.

Creatively speaking, dog walker ads give us a chance to play. Because the business is pretty much getting free advertising, they’re usually open to ideas – the crazier the better. This gives us the freedom to do things that are a little more edgy, controversial and challenging than our paying clients may be comfortable with. And the fact is, it’s these ideas that often get the attention of the advertising world and can even become viral.

That’s the real magic behind these ads – it’s win-win-win. Creatives get a chance to be unrestrained, businesses get unexpected and hopefully amazing advertising, and the agency gets an opportunity to do some award-winning work.

So what? A fair question. Well, if you’re a creative reading this and you haven’t thought about dog walker ads, you should. If you’ve got a favourite neighourhood video store or a friend with a start-up company, take or create these opportunities. If you’re unemployed and looking for some portfolio pieces – these are great ways to get some stuff for your book!

If you’re from an agency that wants to win awards (as you should), encourage your creative department to do this. They’ll enjoy the fun and chance to play with new brands and you can get some serious press if they do it right. And most importantly, there is literally nothing to lose.

And if you’re a dog walker who wants some work done, call me!


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  • 22/03/12

    Cheryl says:

    a personal cheesy fav: