Creative agency BBDO San Francisco, the CESAR brand has created a advertisement video called “First Day Friends” that shines a spotlight on the power of pets to reduce stress, ease feelings of social anxiety and help kids connect with other students.
Each year, 7 million children change schools, which oftentimes can be a tough and lonely experience. With First Day Friends, the brand worked with two schools to allow transfer students to bring their dogs with them as they entered a new school.
Results showed that having a canine companion calmed fears and opened the door to conversations with new potential friends, making the transition a positive experience.
The CESAR brand is a part of the Mars Petcare family of pet food and treat brands, and First Day Friends aligns with Mars Petcare’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, which helps cities, including their schools, become more pet-friendly so that people and pets can have better, healthier lives together.
“A major upheaval like changing schools can be an enormous challenge for students and affect their academic performance and emotional well-being,” said Bernardine Clark, Head of School at the Chelsea Academy. “We love the idea of welcoming the dogs of our new students on their first day to help make their transition as seamless as possible.”
Before his first day of school, sixth grader Etienne was apprehensive. “I was feeling really nervous and I felt like everyone was going to make fun of me because I was a new person here.” Because Milo was there, Etienne was able to feel safe and comfortable. “[Milo] sometimes licks my hand and tells me that he’s always there for me.”
“‘First Day Friends’ highlights the remarkable abilities of pets and the positive impact they have on our lives,” said Craig Neely, Vice President of Marketing at Mars Petcare. “This campaign aligns seamlessly with our BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, as it shows how making cities and communities more pet-friendly can have an immediate and lasting impact. In this case, it’s helping to make the first day at a new school less stressful and intimidating for a child.”