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Using Doorbells in Commercials to Engage Homes with Dogs

Would you be surprised to learn that the number of commercials that have door bells is increasing?  Would you be surprised to learn that marketers are using doorbells in commercials to engage homes with dogs?  It helps them stand out in a time when consumers are being bombarded with ads all day, every day.  As this guest writer shared, the commercials that send our dogs into a barking fit are remembered in our house…

Is it me or has there been a recent influx of commercials with ringing doorbells in them lately? Or, is it that I notice the doorbell ringing because my dog, a Wheaten Terrier named Molly, goes bonkers, running to the door every time one of these commercials comes on.

Or maybe I’m more aware of the trend because I work with advertising all day. Creating and managing media plans for clients such as: Le Creuset, NJ Nets Basketball, and now Winn Dixie supermarket chain, with current employer, On Ideas, I do tend to live and breathe this stuff.

Advertisers are using doorbells as an engagement driver for dog-filled households across the U.S. In fact, nearly 40% of all U.S. households own a dog. Pets are such a prevalent part of so many people’s lives that using them in advertising further extends a brands emotional connection. Wow! So, the doorbell strategy is really quite smart, with such a huge number of households owning dogs.

The daily occurrence of Molly hearing the TV doorbell and running to look outside never gets old, but definitely leaves an impact on me when I’m sitting down watching TV. I’ll never forget that commercial because I know it makes my dog nuts!

Advertisers are engaging consumers through their pets! Whether the brand is viewed positively or negatively, these are commercials you DON’T forget and, therefore, the job of the advertiser has been accomplished.

Check out a couple of commercials that have made Molly go bonkers in recent weeks and that prompted me to write this:

Honey Bunches of Oats, for instance, strategically plays during a.m. fighting, when you are prepping your breakfast and gearing up for the day—very clever and strategic dayparting strategy by Post Foods.  (Show clip)

Or Liquid Plumber, which shows up later at night on cable channels (don’t judge me, this commercial is absurd!) Again, dogs with households tune in and then the absurd sexual innuendos take place, making this hard to forget. (Show clip)

Consider the Travelers Insurance dog, for example. He has made consumers feel an emotional connection to an insurance company, a complex company that is often viewed as stale. Pets make people smile, and smiles are generally a good thing!

What commercials (or television) programs get your dog’s attention?


  1. Wow. I work in marketing, too, and agree that this tactic is kinda brilliant. It is also annoying, so it makes me glad I don’t watch much TV!

    • I know; it’s pretty smart and if anything, it’ll get people to focus on your product just so they can mute the TV right when the commercial starts.

  2. That’s fascinating and something I never would have thought of. They don’t seem to have come up with anything for cats yet – or maybe that’s just our cats …

    • I’m convinced my cats don’t care either. Well, if the commercial featured the sound of a cat howling, they’d be interested. But what product would they be marketing? LOL

  3. HA! Too funny. Makes sense, though, doesn’t really surprise me. You gotta appreciate the creative thinking.

    • What cracks me up is that I have noticed this, but in the malay of settling our dogs down I couldn’t tell you what the commercial was; it would be helpful if I could remember, because maybe I could turn it off. Of course, I watch most everything on the DVR and fast forward through commercials. But it is pretty clever!

  4. nice article! thank you very much.

    • Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Great post! I always wonder about that. And honking ads on the radio always get me in the car.

    • Me too! Drives me bonkers. We haven’t heard the doorbell in a while and the other day the television blared a door bell and all three dogs barked and ran to the door. We took the batteries out of our doorbell over 2 years ago – LOL


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