Is it wrong to use animals to advertise products? By isabelle, caitlin and charlotte

How animals in advertising capture our attention

Animals are often used in advertisements. Companies advertise toilet paper, bug spray and cars featuring animals; but have you ever watched ads and wondered why they do? We've uncovered the truth behind animals in advertisements, and whether they should be used or not.

They make an instant emotional connection with us as they remind us of ourselves and our pets.

Dr McCuchen stated that using animals in advertisements is very effective as consumers are attracted to and fascinated by animals, so when they do buy the product, they relate it to the animal.

Many companies and producers try create an ad based on the animal's stereotype. For example, bears are used for their expressive face and their ability to act nearly human. Another is sharks. They pose an obvious danger, risk, threat and an unpleasant surprise.

So basically, all animals in advertisements appeal to our emotions, which is why it subconsciously persuades us to buy the product.

Yes, they are cute, but is using animals in advertisements the best idea?

Using animals for entertainment and advertisements has always been a controversial issue. There have been many complaints to the ASPCA about animals seeming to be in distress in ads. As well as that, it appears that not all actions in advertisements seem completely safe and can result in replication of actions, which can harm the animal. Lastly, it has been reported that little children seeing the ads may try copy the same thing they see, which also harms themselves.

Puppies advertising toilet paper
Polar bears advertise Coca Cola

So do we think that it is wrong to use animals to advertise products?

Yes, we do.

Animals sometimes appear to be in distress

Some common signs of a dog being in distress are shaking, head down, panting and tail between legs. These symptoms were found in the Volkswagen Ad in 2008. The featuring dog seemed cold and frightened.

Advertisements may unintentionally encourage people to copy behaviour that could be harmful to an animal

Have you ever seen an ad where a person feeds their dog chocolate? If you have, were you disgusted by it? Many advertisements have bad examples like this. Not everyone is the brightest out there, and people could possibly imitate this. The Morrison Advert Company producers went under fire for feeding a dog Christmas pudding. This could have easily been an example for people to copy.

Festive foods such as mince pies, chocolate decorations and even some sugar-free sweets can cause serious issues for your four-legged friend.

After you have read this, what are your ideas? Yes, not all ads are animal-cruel but there certainly have been. If you are still interested, feel free to complete our micro-questions survey and quiz.

Leave us any comments or feedback on the left with a pen and paper ⬅️

Thank you!

Isabelle, Caitlin, Charlotte

Please feel free to write a comment with a pen and paper ⬅️ and complete our survey

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