For those that have missed him, the nation’s favourite dog is back on our screens and has been since the beginning of May. Ever since Harvey first appeared back in 2010 featuring him selling himself to a couple in a dogs home through clips of him cooking, mowing the lawn and doing the school run he stole the hearts of a nation. Luckily for us Thinkbox has brought back Harvey the dog and this time we were in for an emotional treat.
The advert sees Harvey attempting to sway his owner’s decision to throw away his beloved best friend, a stuffed toy named Rabbit. I think what is interesting about this advert is that it extols just how powerful the medium of television advertising is in a concise manner. In sixty seconds Harvey manages to stop his owner as he attempts to silently rid of the saliva drenched rabbit in the bin whilst he thinks Harvey’s back is turned. At this moment Harvey appears on the worktop and turns on the television to show an ad of him and Rabbit in a sweet montage of video clips showing their unity of friendship and bond together.
Everything about the advert grips you. What I believe is great about television advertising is that it has the power to tell a story in a way that other advertising mediums perhaps cannot. Print ads can tell stories, but it may rely on the consumer viewing the series of ads to connect the dots. Adverts with stories are normally the ones you remember most, for there’s a point to them which you can recall and pass on to others.
Music plays an important role in advertising too. Emotional low-key music grips an audience in pet home adverts, whereas upbeat music such as what they play in the Weight Watchers ads encourage enthusiasm, motivation and active participation. No one would join Weight Watchers if Coldplay or The Smiths were the soundtrack to their ads. Of course radio ads can feature music, but the point I’m getting at is that TV not only benefits from sound, but from visuals too. Just as the radio can only use audio means, print can only use visuals. Buying magazines and, ultimately, seeing the ads in those may not be everyone’s priority right now, but internet usage and the numbers of those who watch television, to me, prove just how powerful television advertising really is in reaching the targeted masses.