Pit Bulls in holiday advertising and branding

When you write for a national website about dog-related issues, Pit Bull advocacy, and animal welfare in general, you take your responsibility seriously. It’s not a personal bragging platform or an opportunity to talk endlessly about your own beautiful dog(s). And you don’t treat it as such.

So if your Pit Bull were chosen — out of all the many dogs at a popular Bay Area daycare — to be featured on their company holiday card, you wouldn’t use the occasion to simply tout the merits of your own pet. Instead, you would write a column about how responsible businesses are incorporating positive images of Pit Bulls into their marketing and branding. You’d point out that these images are helping to reshape the perception of square-headed dogs everywhere, encouraging people to think of animals as individuals in their own right.

You might feature this photo and say “Nice job, Capital One!”

Capital One Pit Bull ad

Or link to this television spot and say, “Way to go, Old Navy!”

Old Navy holiday spot featuring a Pit Bull

You would not shamelessly post this picture and say: “My dog Maybe is clearly the most gorgeous, personable, charming dog the daycare staff has ever come across. Look! They chose her for the Christmas card!” Nor would you add: “Seriously, people, is that not the cutest face on the planet ever? Matched in adorability only by her brother Uno??”

The lovely and sweet Pit Bull, Maybe

Of course not. That would be obnoxious. And totally transparent.

Instead you would congratulate Every Dog Has Its Daycare for contributing to the positive awareness of all breeds. You might even mention that they work with the local shelter to promote adoptable animals. But you wouldn’t boast that your dogs have captured the hearts of all who work there. You certainly wouldn’t insinuate that they’re “staff favorites” or “perfect little angels sent straight from heaven.”

No, you would just encourage people to look out for all the merry little Jingle Bulls who are featured in holiday ads this season. And remind folks to patronize businesses both large and small who are doing the right thing in any capacity. That is, if they can take their eyes off the stunning specimen in the Santa cap shown here.

Did I mention they also used her photo on the back of the card?