In 1999, IAMS released what the dog food maker calls its most effective spot—and what we call certainly its most blubber-worthy. "Casey" followed the story of a girl and her dog as they adorably grew up together. It played heartstrings like fiddles and produced the strongest growth rate for the brand.
This week, IAMS debuted "A Boy and His Dog Duck," which is about, well, a boy and his dog. It is equally adorable, and IAMS hopes it will be equally successful.
Longtime IAMS owner P&G sold the brand to Mars in April 2014, prompting the new owners to examine 25 years of data on the business and identify the campaigns that had worked best, said Brian Nugent, senior brand manager for IAMS. "Casey" stood out as IAMS' shining light and biggest growth driver, one that delivered three to four years of exponential sales growth, Nugent said.
"If you are a dog owner, the thing you aspire to most is the dog will live a youthful, vibrant life from puppyhood to maturity," Nugent said. With that insight and the knowledge of just how successful the idea could be, the IAMS team turned to DDB New York to reimagine "Casey" 16 years later.
The new spot, DDB New York's first for IAMS, relies on the same storytelling tool. It shows a boy and his dog playing together, diving into a pool and huddling up in a cozy fort. And this time around, there's a new, heart-melting element to the traditional story—how the dog Duck got his name.
To be even more emotionally manipulative, here's the original "Casey" spot: