The Dachshund Is Bachshund: Vitality Scores With New Look Stanley


Move forward with Vitality


It’s always good to see a Fluent Device return – particularly when it’s a lesser-known one getting a new lease of life. And the concept of a “new lease of life” is also the backbone of the new advert from Life and Health Insurance brand Vitality, who reintroduce their Stanley The Dachshund mascot in this spot from creative agency SNAP LDN.

Stanley has a new voice actor, a new animation style, and most importantly a new outlook on life. The dog’s original role, when Vitality introduced him in 2015, was to act as a comic counterpoint to the ads promoting healthy and lively lifestyles – while his owners exercised and had fun, lazy Stanley couldn’t see the point. But in the new ad, it’s Stanley who is up and about, racing through woods and streets, climbing hills and even starring in a videogame.

Stanley in his original form was a hit, scoring Vitality several 3-Star and a couple of 4-Star ads. Changing his outlook on life from lazy to active is certainly a risk for the brand, but it’s a risk that’s fully paid off. Audiences love the new look and new attitude, landing a 4.9-Star Rating, easily Vitality’s highest score yet for an ad. Not only that, the ad is one of the best Consumer Insurance ads we’ve seen in the UK, landing 3rd in the entire category on the Test Your Ad database.

What makes the spot work so well? Stanley himself is a popular and familiar character, and viewers’ love of dogs in general is well-known. But there’s a charming energy to the ad and a strong, positive voiceover, as well as a cultural reference in the form of OMD’s 80s hit “Enola Gay”, giving the ad an upbeat synth riff to match its colourful, energetic execution.

Consumer Insurance is a category which shouldn’t lend itself to great advertising – nobody looks at the product with much excitement. But both in the UK and especially the US insurance ads have been some of the most enjoyable, emotional, funny and creative. Faced with a category people don’t like thinking about and where it’s hard to stand out on a product level, insurers long ago realised that the way to make an impact was by entertaining for commercial gain, not relying on the product alone. Stanley The Dachshund is the delightful end result of this process – and his makeover has been a tail-wagging triumph.

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