Marketing and Advertising Campaigns
PetSmart Charities Enlists Dana Carvey as King Charles to Boost Pet Adoptions
King Charles III has a message for Americans, and it has nothing to do with global relations: Don’t buy designer dogs, he says, even if they are as adorable and regal as the Cavalier King Charles spaniel.
The “king” is fake, by the way, played by comedian Dana Carvey, but the plea is real. It comes from PetSmart Charities in a video released today to call attention to animal rescue on the eve of the actual king’s coronation in London.
As the former Saturday Night Live star says in the 60-second spot from agency Maximum Effort, the public can become fascinated by dogs that are featured in movies, TV shows and cultural moments. An explosion in popularity of certain breeds—like Dalmatians after the Disney movies—doesn’t always end well for the animals.
“With millions of adoptable pets in need of homes, we knew we needed to think big to draw attention to this pressing issue,” Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities, said in a statement. “There are few moments bigger than the coronation of a new king, and there is an urgent need for people with big love and a little extra space in their homes to adopt a new best friend. We’re excited for the opportunity to get more pets adopted into loving homes so families can experience the mutual benefits of caring for a pet.”
More than 5 million pets enter shelters each year, per the nonprofit arm of PetSmart, with animals staying longer in recent months, leading to overcrowded conditions and stretching thin resources.
“Dogs make our lives better in innumerable and unforgettable ways,” George Dewey, Maximum Effort’s co-founder, said in a statement, “so we wanted to take this moment to hopefully make a few of their lives better.”
While a number of British brands have flocked to the coronation, using the upcoming spectacle as a sales and marketing bonanza, companies in the U.S. haven’t followed suit.
That’s a differentiator for the PetSmart effort. Plus cute dogs. (Canine trivia: The royals may be better known for the late queen’s love of corgis, but the King Charles spaniel was named for King Charles I and his son, King Charles II, who were enamored with the breed.)
PetSmart Charities is known for its in-store rescue programs and other events, run in PetSmart locations around the country, facilitating more than 10 million adoptions to date, per the organization.