Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Tag: advertising

How Yamer won a contest, a job, and the love of fandom by smuggling furry into the mainstream.

by Patch O'Furr

A Mazda dealership in Fort Wayne, IN, set a trap. Their mascot is a cute sheep-thing… but he isn’t just an ordinary mascot like the Carfax Car Fox. This one has the secret power to set off your Fur-dar. Look at those cute eyes… how can you resist them?

Those susceptible to his gaze can tell he was crafted by furry paws, even if he was smuggled out of fandom under cover of an ordinary ad campaign.  I’d say the difference from other mascots is he isn’t just a general character… he’s a fursona!  Leinado is his name, and he was chosen by an art contest in 2013. He’s been spreading the magic to the public ever since.

In January 2019, the trap sprung on a furry who was just there for ordinary car repair. Sharing the discovery “in the wild” won thousands of likes for Leinado on Twitter. With fur-dar tingling, furries began sniffing around the company website to trace his origin. They found the designer, and then she was revealed as a wielder of furry art magic under the name Yamer.

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Australia’s Lucky Dog Fursuits slurps up a job for Schmackos pet treats.

by Patch O'Furr

“Dogs go wacko for Schmackos!” If you grew up in Australia, you might have this TV ad series stuck in your brain. A big reason is the hand-made, stop-motion animation (think Wallace and Gromit, from before everything went CG). These ads have quirky, nostalgic appeal for a long-standing branding win.

North Americans might have no idea this exists. That’s why I’m happy to share it as Furry News, with a bit of animation-nerd interest. Yes, the fandom has become part of pop culture down under. The official mascot for Schmackos pet treats is now crafted by Furry paws.

Schmackos has been made since 1989 by Mars Petcare. That’s the Australian subsidiary of Mars Inc. (a global brand worth over $30 billion and famous for Snickers and M&M’s). In late 2017, they approached Lucky Dog Fursuits to commission a suit for their mascot.

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Pet food graphics – furry ads to feed your friends

by Patch O'Furr

cat-and-dog-covers

The Furry Meter is easy to activate with cereal commercial mascots, or saturday morning cartoons. This may be a little more subliminal, but add pet food advertising. Read about it in Cartoon Kittens and Big-Eyed Puppies: How We Bought Into Processed Pet Food.

When they first started canning the stuff, it was enough to just put a big DOG or CAT on the label. (I guess people just got FOOD. These days, the FDA has slightly more complicated guidelines.) Marketing matured, and turned anthropomorphic –

In the 1950s and beginning of the ’60s, the designers working in the lithography shops that produced can labels continued the visual traditions established on fruit- and vegetable-crate labels, often depicting realistic-looking cats and dogs. Artists at ad agencies developed the campaigns for pet food packaged in boxes and bags. Eventually, both began to be influenced by the culture of the mid-20th century, from comic books, to Walt Disney, to television, especially Saturday-morning cartoons, which were sponsored, in no small part, by breakfast-cereal brands.

For psychology, they say shapes of pet food (bones, fish, etc.) appeal to pet owners because cats and dogs don’t usually do their own shopping. (Mine just barks out a list of what to get. I’m obedient like that.) It inspires how to market anything “when the users of a product aren’t the decision makers.” As an $11 billion a year industry, you know they invest a lot of thought into how this works.

That’s just a nibble of the stuff you can find in the just-published “Cat Food for Thought: Pet Food Label Art, Wit & Wisdom.”