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Elephants Or Donkeys? Pets, Political Icons Or Mad Men?

When one mentions elephants or donkeys, what do you conjure up? Dependent on where you hail geographically, you might own one as a pet or as a means of transportation. Certainly in Africa and Mexico, that would be the case. In an election year, in the U.S., one might align the elephant and the donkey with the symbols representative of the country's two political party system. But who would ever reference these two animals as advertising hucksters or promoters of brand products?

Well, in conducting some research, I uncovered two exceptional ads, one starring elephants hawking peanuts and another with a donkey hyping beer. In both cases, they made perfect advocate choices for the brands they were recruited to promote by their ad agencies (aka "Mad Men").

Back in October of 2008, the Indonesia office of the Ogilvy & Mather Agency secured the KayaKing Jumbo Peanuts account. The creative print ad campaign they developed involved not only elephants, but some real out-of-the-box thinking. Featuring one elephant practicing the Heimlich maneuver on another, it's appears that Kayaking's peanuts are so jumbo, it would be difficult for any animal to swallow, without cracking its shell first. Effectively conceived, this ad targets both animal and peanut lovers.


While the image of the two elephants certainly looks real, you know that the art department at 0&A must have had to work overtime to photo-shop it to obtain that level of authenticity. In this video version, it appears they used CGI or computer-generated imagery to capture a moving image of the two elephants in the act of performing this emergency technique.


In 2004, how many of you remember the touching treatment Budweiser lent to its NFL Superbowl ad? Hearkening back to the theme made popular in the Sly Stallone's "Rocky" movies, the story that was told in that one-minute vignette was heartfelt and identifiable.

This is the age-old tale of the little guy's triumph against great odds. Wanting to be a Clydesdale all his life, and despite being born a lowly donkey, he manages to find a way to fulfill his dream. The advert is a testament to keeping your eye on the prize and not compromising when seeking to reach your goal.


So, I got to thinking after surfacing these two distinctly different approaches, if there might be some kind of metaphysical connection between these two ad campaigns and the current presidential election campaigns that are currently underway.

And without giving away too much as to my political bias, it did strike me that Romney and Obama could easily be stand-ins for elephant and the donkey in these ads. After all, as was witnessed in the first presidential debate on October 3rd, it did appear that Romney was  prepped well in learning how to regurgitate all of Obama's previous political positions, undergoing a political Heimlich maneuver of sorts. And Obama who from all reports was beaten down by his opponent did appear to assume the position of the uncompromising dark horse who chose not to sacrifice his principles for the temporary political gain of this first debate.

Question is will Mr. Romney continue to choke on his own words over time and will the little-donkey-that-could earn the coveted prize of another 4 years in the White House? Sorry, I guess you NOW know what Clydesdale I'm betting on. Your thoughts, readers. Elephant or donkey? 

 

Ron Callari
PetsLady.com

Comments
Oct 10, 2012
by Anonymous
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ELEPHANT FOR SURE! GO ROMNEY!

ELEPHANT FOR SURE! GO ROMNEY!

Oct 10, 2012
by Anonymous
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Between the elephants and

Between the elephants and the donkeys, I really don't have a dog in the fight. The rest of the menagerie hasn't impressed me much either. With write-ins not an option where I live, I'll most likely leave the top line blank.
I hadn't seen the peanut ad before today. Cute.

Oct 10, 2012
by Anonymous
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I would like Romney but he

I would like Romney but he keeps lying and pandering. It would be nice to see an honest President for a change.

Oct 10, 2012
by Anonymous
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Elephant for sure!

Elephant for sure!

Oct 10, 2012
by Anonymous
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Seeing how the donkey

Seeing how the donkey doesn't seem to understand economics, foreign policy nor the American experiment in general I am going with the Elephant

Oct 10, 2012
by Anonymous
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Don't be a jackass! Be a

Don't be a jackass! Be a donkey!

Oct 10, 2012
by Anonymous
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I've always been puzzled by

I've always been puzzled by the choice of imagery to represent these two political parties - though I guess there must be some historical significance to them. Perhaps the imagery is appropriate at least insofar as politics is frequently both bizarre and the butt of jokes and metaphors (maybe the use of the word "butt" here is an unintended but appropriate metaphor for both the parties' antics and their chosen symbols. Equally funny is that, here in Australia, where voting attendance is compulsory, a "donkey vote" refers to one where someone just goes down the list in sequence, as a kind of protest to all parties, the political system, and the requirement to vote. Just thought I'd throw that one in - you might find it amusing!

Oct 11, 2012
by Anonymous
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Go Elephant! I can't take

Go Elephant! I can't take another four years of an "ass" in office :)

Oct 11, 2012
by Anonymous
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I don't think there is a

I don't think there is a more appropriate word than regurgitate when it comes to describing Obama's "previous political positions."

Oct 20, 2012
by Anonymous
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The donkey has a story like

The donkey has a story like Rudolph's. The special one becomes the leader through dark and uncertain times and does so with a clear vision.

Oct 25, 2012
by Anonymous
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Nature is an endless

Nature is an endless inspiration and model, we have to take it just like that and to choose a character not an image :)

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