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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

We walk past countless billboards on the street and see advertising images and videos everywhere on the Internet. The ones that often catch our eye are the ones with cute animal pictures. Why are there advertisements with animals? How are animals portrayed in advertising? It’s worth taking a closer look here.

Why animals in advertising?

Many companies resort to animals in marketing. Why is quite clear, almost everyone finds them cute. Especially animals with a childlike pattern (round head, big eyes, etc.) are often used as actors. Through this emotionality, companies hope for a good image and more sales.

How are the animals shown in advertising?

Real animals are often shown in advertising, but they also “work” in drawn form. There are even specially trained film and advertising animals for this purpose. These are used to being in front of the camera.

Agencies for advertising with animals

Companies can now request the animal they need for their advertising from film animal agencies. Sometimes a special look is sought or a certain skill is needed. So the animal must then be able to do tricks to present the brand as well as possible.

dog harness that fits your dog

Why is advertising with animals not always good?

Most people do not question everything they see. If something is perceived as dear one would like to have it. The more often we see something, the more normal it becomes for us. As a company, you are always to a certain extent a role model for people.

If you now see French Bulldogs or British Shorthair cats everywhere, for example, the probability increases that more people will choose this breed. By seeing these animals everywhere consciously or unconsciously, people do not think about the suffering of the animals. What we often find in everyday life, quickly becomes the norm.

What is often overlooked in advertising with animals?

Since, unfortunately, torture breeds are often used in advertising, animal suffering also increases as a result. Very few marketing teams deal with the breeds or even the body language of the animals. So, unfortunately, you see a lot of animals in advertising that are either suffering physically (breathing problems, bulging eyes, wrinkling, etc.) or are very stressed.

As an example, laughing dogs are often shown in advertising. But what looks like laughter to us is actually a clear stress signal from the dog, which feels uncomfortable in the situation. Equally “funny” animals find appeal, because too few people know about the animals. Tongues hanging out, dogs sitting, animals snoring, etc., indicate that the animals are ill. Animals dressed up are also considered funny, but for most animals such a disguise is less funny and usually even a lot of stress.

The equipment is also a point. Often you see dogs with thin collars or even choke chains (which are forbidden in Austria). Suitable harnesses and adequate leashes, however, you see quite rarely.

Hund in Werbung


Advertising influences consumer behavior and the image of what we perceive as beautiful and desirable. Animals are sentient beings and should not be misused for advertising purposes. Advertising with animals is often done with torture breeds or “funny” looking animals, which creates a false image. Rather, companies should raise awareness and be a role model to reduce animal suffering, not promote it.