The Deconstructed Brief

The Biggest Game in Adoption

The Biggest Game in Adoption 

Brand: Animal Planet + Pedigree

Agency: In-house + Agency Partners


  • Maintain number two status during the Super Bowl on the broadcast time slot
  • Raise awareness for the more than four million dogs that enter shelters each year 


“We'll piggyback on the most-watched broadcast of the year, and tap into the immense viewership of the Super Bowl to raise awareness for shelter animals.”

One Thought:

The Biggest Game in Adoption

Lessons to be learned:

  • Collaboration — Animal Planet and Pedigree are a believable, fun brand collaboration, combining Animal Planet’s mission of animal education with Pedigree’s mission to change the lives of shelter dogs. The Puppy Bowl platform gives both brands the ability to execute on their brand promises and do some good. 
  • Don’t fix what’s not broken — “We stick with what really works for us: putting puppies that are available for adoption up on screen and letting them do their thing. That's been the secret sauce," said Jason Goldberg, VP client and brand partnerships, at Discovery Communications. In short, people love cute puppies.
  • New tech — The brand mash-up is bringing virtual reality to the Puppy Bowl this year to provide a “pup’s-eye view” for viewers, enabling them to engage with the content instead of passively viewing on their television. The application also crosses platforms, bringing the Puppy Bowl off television and onto social.
  • Branded content — For the first time, the Puppy Bowl is using retired NFL players to anchor its social efforts, increasing the event’s reach to the Super Bowl fanatics who may have been unwilling to interrupt their pre-game coverage to give some attention to the Puppy Bowl in the past.

What they told AdWeek:

After 12 years, the Puppy Bowl has become "a pop culture phenomenon" for Discovery Communications, said Jason Goldberg, VP client and brand partnerships at Discovery Communications. "It also happens to be the second biggest franchise that we have within our portfolio behind Shark Week. So the network puts a lot of effort behind Puppy Bowl.”