Nellie’s Free Range Chickens

1430255905398-2Those eyes. Who could give Nellie’s chickens anything but sunshine after peering into those eyes? And how do you even make a chicken have an expression? The creative/graphics team did a fantastic job of creating a chicken with thoughts-on-the-matter in this ad.

After seeing this ad, I was curious about why animals are so prevalent in advertising. We’ve wanted to ride home with the Subaru dogs home, swooned over the Budweiser horses and wanted to drink Cokes with polar bears. Why do advertisers torture us with these adorable ads?

In her thesis, Braunwart shares theories by Lloyd and Woodside (2013) on why marketers use animals in advertising,

They claim animals are a very strong symbol and contribute to brand engagement, thus brand equity – meaning the brand becomes so recognizable to the point of having a higher value than competitors. Animals are strong symbols because they act as a mode of transport (defined as “an experience with great relevance to positive engagement”) and enable consumers to have a transformative experience. This experience may not be drastic or life altering, but at a minimum may be a thought-altering experience. This allows consumers to change the way they think or feel about a specific brand or product. (as cited in Braunwart, 2015).

If we agree with Lloyd and Woodside, Nellie’s wanted us (the consumers) to have a “thought-altering experience”. They were banking on this ad changing our comfort level around eating eggs from chickens who only have 8 ½ x 11 inch living quarters. Then, like only advertising can do, Nellie’s is right there to provide an alternative product for us to purchase.

Having said that, some marketers use animals to target our comfort levels in a much different way. How effective do you believe the following ads are?


Braunwart, N. (2015). Animals in Advertising: Eliciting Powerful Consumer Response, Resulting in Enhanced Brand Engagement” (2015). University Honors Theses. Paper 151. Retrieved from

Neje, J. (2014, June 16). 33 Powerful animal ad campaigns that tell the uncomfortable truth. [Online images]. Retrieved from

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s