Tails.com Makes Dog Food Spectacular and Surreal


Never Average


If you’re a dog food brand, you want to put a dog in your ad, right? And the dog should look happy, so why not have it playing with a toy? So far so basic, but Tails.com have taken it to surreal and delightful extremes in their new ad. Instead of one romping labrador, we have hundreds of them, racing across a hillside, and instead of a single dog toy, we have gigantic balls, cloth bunnies and chew toys.

It’s the best kind of ad – one which is true to its brand and its category while still giving you a spectacle you’ve never seen before. Where else are you going to see dogs reclining on a sofa made of shrubbery? Tails make tailored dog food, and the strapline of the ad is “Never Average”, with one dog trotting away from the pack to find his bowl of specially made dog food waiting for him.

But “Never Average” is also a good description of the ad itself, which works not so much because of its message but because of its scale, originality, and strangeness. An addictive, obscure soundtrack from cult 70s disco singer Amanda Lear finishes off the unique vibe. Sonically, visually and conceptually, it’s a highly distinctive commercial, remixing the typical elements of a pet food ad into something unique.

How will audiences actually react to this odd creation, though? The good news for Tails, and agency The Or, is that they absolutely loved it. The ad scores a tail-wagging 5.3-Stars, putting it in the Top 5 of all the pet food commercials we’ve tested in the UK. That’s seriously impressive, given what a competitive (and cute) category this tends to be.

An Exceptional 5-Star result predicts very strong market share gain from the ad given appropriate investment. The ad also gets a strong-short term Spike Rating predicting sales growth. On Brand Fluency it performs less well, with only a modest score, but that’s largely down to the ad introducing its branding relatively late.

What can brands learn from the high scores Tails have got here? The main lesson is that people enjoy seeing something spectacular and fresh, at least when it’s presented in a playful and entertaining way. “Never Average” lives up to its name, feeling like no other dog food ad while putting dogs right at the heart of a visual extravaganza.

"We're delighted that our new brand campaign launching Never Average as our Tails.com brand platform has been recognised by System1 as performing in the top 2% of adverts in the pet food category. Capturing the joyful, dog-like optimism of our brand and balancing this with delivering a compelling message about our 100% tailored proposition whilst introducing Never Average as a brand platform was always going to be a creative challenge, but we knew from the moment The Or shared the concept with us that this was going to be a special film, and this new research supports this belief. We were especially heartened to see the advert's exceptional scores for creative effectiveness as it validates our view that sustained investment in our brand will deliver growth over the longer term."

Ian Pate Brand Director, Tails.com
Create 5-star ads

The more people feel, the more they buy

The most effective ads boost sales and drive long-term growth. They do it by making people feel more - building positive associations with a recognisable brand. We predict sales and growth impacts by measuring emotion, letting you make ads that entertain for commercial gain.

Try Test Your Ad